Identity theft comes in different flavours. These days, social media has taken the spotlight. Online identity theft is now more than just email scams or wiring money from one account to another. Through social media identity theft, another person could destroy your reputation, your career and your entire life. It’s just like what happened to the Director of Sullivan County school district, Dr. Jubal Yennie. Based on the report,
The Twitter account was created with the name and photo of Dr. Jubal Yennie, Director of the Sullivan County school district. The account has since been deleted but the tweets sent in Yennie’s name were reported to be of an embarrassing nature and not appropriate for a school administrator.It was Ira Trey Quesenbery III, 18 years of age, who did this identity theft crime of humiliation to Dr. Yennie. The director reported the crime and eventually, Quesenbery was booked by the authorities. If an 18-year-old could accomplish such a feat, what more could much experienced identity thieves do to you through social media?
How could this happen? Well, it’s easy to notice how open people are in social media sites. They share a lot of information to complete strangers. These masked strangers then use the data they gather to assume the lives of or steal from their newly found “friends”.Considerations in Interacting on Social Media Sites
There is a means for everyone to prevent id theft as they continue to interact with people on these sites. The following are some of the important considerations that you should have in maintaining your social media accounts:Limit your publicly displayed information
You shouldn’t post your address, phone numbers or date of birth on your wall. Doing so puts you at a higher level of risk. Criminals do not get discouraged with just bits of information. They will keep on digging until they have what they need. Delete your personal information on your accounts so that you don’t become a victim.You’re more at risk now if you’re on mobile
If you use a Smartphone, then you should take extra care with your on-the-go transactions. Always use complicated passwords. You should also avoid making financial transactions when you’re using public Wi-Fi hotspots because they are unsecure. Never be too open in social networks even with very close, long-time friends
People who are too comfortable with social media use might provide sensitive information, such as account numbers and passwords, to others. You can never know who intercepts these valuable data bits. Avoid doing this. You should just meet up and discuss important details in person.Be careful with applications
Mobile applications for your smartphones and social media sites could very well carry viruses that help the thief access your gadget and your account as well.Identity theft protection is possible even if you think you have no escape from identity thieves. You just have to do your part and be aware of the signs of identity theft and monitor your credit with diligence. Signs could be unusual charges on your credit cards or unauthorized activity in your bank accounts. It’s okay to be outgoing and friendly on social media. Just understand that you could be prey to the constantly prowling identity thieves if you’re not careful.
Amy is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances. She also covers topics on credit card fraud detection and online credit card fraud prevention that can help people prevent themselves from credit theft and scams.