Do you know someone who shares way too much on social media? These people might be sharing every single exquisite detail of their vacation, posting photos of their newborn babies, complete with birthdate and all the other details, or showing off a brand-new car with the license plate in full view. Not only do these people tend to get on our nerves with their over-sharing, but they are also subjecting themselves to being potential victims of identity theft.
Criminals are quite intelligent. They can figure out your life and routine with just a few key bits of information. All they need is a computer or smart device, working Internet connection, and a bit of free information. Stalking a victim, stealing his or her identity, or robbing the person has become easier than ever.
So what can you do to prevent over-sharing and stop yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft? Follow these 5 key tips below!
Keep the Personal Details Offline – We all know that it’s unwise to post our social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other valuable information on the Internet, but there are plenty of other things you should reconsider posting. When you share things like your full name, birthdate, current employer, family member names, your cell phone, and your home address, you make life so very easy for identity thieves. Not only can they familiarize themselves with who you are and where you live, but they can also take better guesses at breaking into your password-protected accounts. Before posting, rethink sharing your hometown, spouse’s or kids’ names, your alma mater, and your dog’s name.
Think Twice Before Posting – It’s so very tempting to post about the good time and the bad. You might be dying to share the picture of you currently on vacation or even the new license you got. These photos, however, provide a lot more information to prowlers than you might think. Be sure that there is no intimate information on anything in the picture, and say “no” to posting pictures of yourself while you’re out of town. This is just asking for thieves to come and steal your information (and your stuff).
Keep Up-To-Date with Privacy Settings – It’s not enough to just go into Facebook or Twitter one time and update your settings. Social media platforms are changing every day, and sometimes they update their privacy settings without letting you know. Simply going into your account and keeping up-to-date with the privacy settings is one of the simplest ways to ensure your online safety.
Turn Off Location-Based Apps – Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow users to pinpoint their exact location with gelocation tags. If you use these tags, you are opening yourself up to identity thieves by showing your address or simply by allowing them to know where you are right now. Turn off these settings before you make a post.
Put a Lock on Your Social Profiles – Want to stay safe online? Start locking down your profiles. Make your Twitter profile private – this will allow only people you’ve added to your friends list to access your tweets. In Facebook, set your default privacy to “friends” and go through your list of friends to ensure that you actually know everyone you have become friends with on Facebook.
Remember, you don’t have to give up social media in order to stay safe. You only have to keep these 5 tips in mind whenever you make a post, whether you’re sharing a photo of you enjoying time out on the lake or you devouring a delicious piece of birthday cake!
Want more safety tips? Call us at Madison Mutual at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com! We will help protect what matters the most to you.