(Once) The world’s greatest conman giving advice on how to protect yourself against Facebook scams? Now, that’s a bit controversial. But, come to think of it, who better to offer advice on how not to get scammed than a scam expert?
If you saw Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can,” you probably know who I’m talking about.
Profile: Frank Abagnale – conman in the 60s, now a security consultant for US law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. He is one of the best-known imposters ever, claiming to have impersonated airline pilots, a doctor and a lawyer, as well as cashing $2.5m in cheques and scamming people. So he must know a thing or two about how scammers think and act. After serving his years of prison, he decided to switch sides. And it is from this bad-guy-turned-good-guy perspective that he shared his insights on the dangers of identity theft and children using Facebook, on Wednesday, at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London [The Guardian interview – VIDEO]:
- Technology has made it far easier to commit identity fraud now than 40 years ago
- If you make your date of birth and where you're born public on Facebook, anybody can be “98% [of the way] to stealing your identity”
- Like every technology you have to teach children, it is an obligation of society to teach them how to use Facebook carefully
- Never state your date of birth and where you were born on Facebook, otherwise you are saying “come and steal my identity”
- Never choose a passport-style photograph as a profile picture, and instead use group photographs.
Mr. Frank Abagnale makes some very strong points about identity theft enabled by the big social network, which is why we feel it’s our duty to complete his insights and identity theft tips with some of our own.
How to prevent identity theft on Facebook?
Here are 3 things you should keep in mind when sharing something:
1. What information you’re sharing. Don’t share your home address, not even the city you live in, email address, phone number, or specific location information.
2. How much of a specific type of information you’re sharing. Don’t overdo the check-ins or photo tags from the same place (restaurant, gym etc.), as Facebook stalkers may use it to figure out your daily schedule or build up a profile on you.
3. Who you’re sharing it with. Choose the friends you want to see your current location/city, review all the photos you are tagged in and remove the tags you are not ok with, as well as all the location tags (check-ins). Here’s more on how to adjust your privacy settings.
And don't forget to use BullGuard’s Parental control to keep an eye on your kids and protect them from scammers.