Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn allow us to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues. They can also allow hackers, identity thieves and even burglars the opportunity to gain access to your personal information. Too many social media users do not consider all the consequences of sharing information on the internet, leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Are you guilty of sharing too much information that could expose you or your loved ones to identity theft? Read on to discover what kind of information to avoid sharing on social media and protect yourself and your property.
1. Telling Everyone You're Not Home
Checking in to restaurants, stores or when you go to the gym not only tells people you are not home, which could leave you vulnerable to burglary, but can expose personal information about places you frequently visit. You should also turn off geotags on posts and photos, which sites like Facebook and Instagram have turned on by default, so hackers can't trace where you are when you create posts or upload photos. Speaking of photos...
2. Posting Images Containing Personal Data
Your child's college acceptance letter, that credit card bill you finally paid off or an offer letter from your new job might all seem share-worthy, but these documents contain personal information (like your name, address and phone number) that identity thieves can use to try and steal your identity or hack your financial accounts.
3. Accidently Answering Security Questions
Most social networking sites offer users the ability to fill in all types of personal data – birthdays, emails, phone numbers and where they live. While this information seems inconsequential, in the hands of an identity thief it can prove very dangerous. Even information that seems trivial, like your favorite color or where you went to high school, are common security questions for financial accounts.
If you are concerned with identity theft protection, limiting what you share on social media can help reduce the chances of the wrong person gaining access to your personal information.