Social Networking is a growing phenomenon and millions of Americans sharing their photos, favorite songs and details about their class reunions, vacations, etc on Facebook, Twitter and dozens of similar sites each day.
This insight into our lives can greatly increase your risk for identity theft. Sure, you can enjoy networking and sharing photos, but there are a handful of personal details that you should never say if you don’t want criminals — cyber or otherwise — to rob you blind.
What should you never say on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site?
Your Birth Date and Place
I know, it is nice to have 300 people wish you happy birthday on facebook. You can say the date you were born, but if you provide the year and where you were born too, you’ve just given identity thieves a key to stealing your financial life. Did you know that by simply providing a date and place of birth could be used to predict most — and sometimes all — of the numbers in your Social Security number!!
Touting the countdown to your vacation plans is like waving a red flag that says “Rob me, please”. When you post updates like “Countdown to Vegas”, or “at the airport waiting to board the plane to Greece for 10 days! Woo-Hoo…Cant wait!” you are alerting everyone that you are away from your home and open for potential criminals to take advantage. There have even been home burgulars that admitted to searching Facebook for homes that were vacant while people were on vacation. If you really want to share about your vacation, post the photos when you return.
This is a no-brainer, but over 40% of Facebook users put their home address on their profile with a whopping 65% not even blocking out strangers from accessing profile information with privacy settings!!
You may hate your job; lie on your taxes; or be a recreational user of illicit drugs, but this is no place to confess. Employers commonly peruse social networking sites to determine who to hire — and, sometimes, who to fire. More and more companies are looking at “social media background checks” for potential employees, and currently about 10% of companies admit to firing someone due to findings on social media sites.
If you’ve got online accounts, you’ve probably answered a dozen different security questions, telling your bank or other account your Mom’s maiden name; your elementary school, favorite song or pet’s name. Got that same stuff on the information page of your Facebook profile? You’re giving crooks an easy way to guess your passwords.