We’re all familiar with the social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google +, and Foursquare, and probably spend more time on them than we’d care to admit. Many take great pride in curating their online persona through their profiles - apparently it’s even not unheard of to have your profile pictures Photoshopped!
Recently, Facebook received some bad press around privacy issues, but the majority of us took that to mean Facebook could use our photos and status updates at their free will. What we failed to realize is that those same privacy issues are linked to something that much greater and more concerning: Identity Theft.
Did you know you're making it easier for thieves to rob you?
The sheer amount of information listed in, for example, a Facebook profile: family members, address, e-mail, cell phone number, birth date, employer and so on, all make it that much easier for an identity fraudster to pretend to be you, or me. And unfortunately, it would seem that we don’t have Facebook on our side, looking out for us.
Let’s take a look at Foursquare, this site typically has a less involved profile for their users, however, as you’re encouraged to ‘check-in’ at your location in real-time, you’re not just letting your friends know where you are, but everyone else as well. Oh…it gets so creepy when you think about it! If I’m a thief and you’ve just ‘checked-in’ to a nice long dinner, I know I’ve got a good couple hours to empty your home.
Bottom line, these sites aren’t forcing you to provide them with your personal details or whereabouts, so why are you? Whether it’s your identity, or your belongings at stake, you should think twice before providing extensive personal information online, and learn more about the “Do’s and Don’ts” of online communities.
We’d love to know your thoughts on the matter. Feel free to leave your comments below.
And again, think twice before sharing too much! But do share this post with your friends, as a head-up on identity theft.