Do you know an oversharer? Do you overshare?
While it is pretty common knowledge these days that you have to be careful what you choose to share online, especially on social media sites such as Facebook, you can also be potentially putting yourself at a higher risk for identity theft. We all know voicing your opinion about your boss can cause an awkward situation at work the next day, but your vent and other sensitive information can pop up in Google searches and Twitter data mining. And this is just what cyber criminals want.
How can you protect yourself online?
Here is what you can do to stop thieves in their tracks and keep your personal information just that.
If you look closely on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter you will notice you can show your location when making a post. Many times it might show you city but did you know it can also show a map that points directly to your home? It doesn’t take much for unsavory characters to find out where you live. By going into your settings you can make the necessary changes so that your location doesn’t show up when posting from home or work. Also, don’t announce your vacation prior to leaving and when you’ll b
Avoid Posting Pictures of Personal Data
Seems obvious right? However, that new driver may post a picture of their brand new license or maybe your credit card number is obvious on that shopping receipt you’re so proud of. Not only are you putting your home address and account numbers on blast for identity thieves but you’re also making that information available for those wanting to clean out your bank account.
Letting Strangers in Your Home and Car
Apps like CLOO let you make money off letting strangers use your bathroom if it is conveniently located or maybe your spare room. Now you’re getting their money but they are getting access to sensitive documents like your car registration or even medical information from any prescriptions you have laying around your bathroom. If you plan to use these sites it is advisable to lock up personal, medical and financial information giving thieves less of a chance to access it.
Facebook and Foursquare let you check in everywhere you visit so friends can choose to meet up with you. Unfortunately, it is also letting thieves know when you are not at home, where you bank and where you work. This only serves to give them more chances to steal your information to steal your identity later on.
Even sharing your birthday online (even if it is just the month and day) can open the door for thieves. Financial institutions use this information to identify you and therefore if a thief has it, the better the chance they have of stealing your identity.
Oversharer or not, a lot of these things are things we are all guilty of doing, not realizing we are opening the door for identity thieves that are foaming at the mouth to get their hands on our info. Making small changes to your Facebook and other social media behavior can help you protect yourself.
What changes will you make?