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Keep Your Identity Safe On Social Networks

July 13, 2009

Identity theft never stops. Does your social networking page look something like this:

Hi, my name is Mary Sunshine. My birthday is 7/13/2009 and I was born in Podunk, Alabama. I have a dog named Sassafrass. I hope everyone will become my new friend."

Now what could be wrong with writing something like that? How could an identity thief possibly get your personal information from stuff this innocent?

Here’s how…

Congress recently passed legislation that approved the use of the last four digits of  your social security number on public documents. Now that may seem harmless until you realize that knowing where someone was born and their birthdate are great clues to figuring out the first five digits of your social security number. As a matter of fact, researchers have been able to accurately guess the first 5 digits about 40% of the time. And now our legislators have handed the last piece of the puzzle to thieves on a silver plate.

The other dangerous bit of information you’ve volunteered is your dog’s name. I hope that you’re not one of those people who use their dog’s name for a password – for email, online banking, etc. I know several people who do – they use it for ALL their passwords because they don’t like to think of something harder. Hey, I even remember an episode of Stargate where our ‘hero’ guessed the ‘villlians’ password by using his dog’s name. It’s that commonly done.

The internet is not a happy playground where everyone gets along and loves each other. It’s full of people with no conscience who will gladly steal anything they can get their hands on – especially if it involves little risk to themselves. Identity theft is the perfect crime for them because the odds of being caught are small. The odds of being convicted are even smaller. There’s a big payday for identity thieves without any repercussions.

Think twice before you give out so much information on social networking sites. Keep your identity safe!

 

Comments

5 Responses to “Keep Your Identity Safe On Social Networks”

  1. Laurie on July 14th, 2009 8:52 pm

    The internet is about to put burglars and theives out of business. We’re already letting them in through the internet. But, I’m one to talk, I religiously check and update my facebook account. You even have to be careful when you are trying to sell things online, had a bad experience with that. I just keep an annual fraud alert and credit check. You can get it free with a company called Shield Safe. There are others out there like Life Lock, but they charge.

  2. The Identity 'Protector' on July 15th, 2009 9:39 am

    The best thing anyone can do to protect your identity for free is to place Fraud Alerts on your credit files. Set yourself some kind of system to remind you to renew them every 3 months. Here’s a post with information about that: http://www.youridentitysafe.com/identity-theft-resources/23credit-freeze-vs-fraud-alert

    The advantage of paying a company for identity theft protection is the help you get if your identity is stolen. Some companies guide you through the clean-up process and LifeLock and ID Watchdog will actually do the process for you. No everyone finds value in paying for this. But others like the thought of knowing they’ll have help if they need it.

  3. Joshua Z Stallings on January 7th, 2010 5:21 pm

    i lost two paper copy of my identification that is ? license and social security number im reporting this so nobody wont put anything under my name that could jepordise my credit and my identy. i just want my identy to be safe from frauds

  4. The Identity 'Protector' on January 7th, 2010 5:43 pm

    @Joshua
    This isn’t an official place to report a loss like you had. Report it to your local police if it was due to a theft. Also, put fraud alerts on your credit files right now. It’s free. You only need to do it at one of the credit bureaus. That one will pass it on to the others. Here’s a link for you: https://www.alerts.equifax.com/AutoFraud_Online/jsp/fraudAlert.jsp

    Keep an eye on your credit reports especially for the next year to be sure no one has opened accounts in your name. You can get your free ones at http://annualcreditreport.com .

  5. Wiseup on June 24th, 2011 10:18 pm

    Stupid is what stupid does, you really think all these holier than though programs give a damn if your a victim? hell no. when you all gonna wake up and realize its a head game?

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