Small, seemingly innocent pieces of information can add up to identity theft. But how do identity theives find these little pieces of information? Read more, you might be surprised!
The internet offers so many opportunities to work, shop, stay in touch and even play games but users beware: personal information shared on the web can be pieced together by identity thieves looking to steal your pie. Small, seemingly innocent pieces of information can add up to identity theft.
Consider this: Police have went to on line chat rooms and later appeared at ball games to illustrate to children that something as seemingly unimportant as a sports uniform provides enough information for a criminal to find them. Children and adults alike must beware of not just stalkers but identity thieves. Identity thieves don’t want to find you, they just want to be you-at least long enough to get credit cards, mortgages, utilities or medical services in your name.
There are several common ways you can unwittingly put yourself at risk on-line. On-line communities, like Facebook and others, can put users at risks. Did you know? There are over 8 million active users on Facebook. Think they are all friends?
Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft in On-line Communities
â€¢ Birth Dates
Many community profiles post birthdays. You should never give out your birthday. Your birthday is often used for confirmation of your identity. Leave it blank or be creative with responses like “comes annually.”
â€¢ Phone numbers
Giving your phone number on-line even to “friends” is a no no. Again, a phone number makes a fraudulent use of your identity easier. What’s more, with reverse search giving out your phone number on line is the same as giving out your home address.
They say “a picture paints a thousand words.” You can be sure that savvy identity thieves can find the details. Sports or cheer leading uniforms, work uniforms or badges, house numbers in the back ground are details that can be used to piece together and steal your identity.
Other On-line Identity Theft Risks
Gaming Site Pop Ups
“You’ve just won a free digital camera.” It’s hard to resist filling out that simple claim form but are you a winner or a sucker? Likely it’s a marketing scheme unworthy your time but it may be an identity thief just waiting for you to fill your personal information. Instead of a free camera, you could be the winner of huge bills and bad credit.
Watch Out for Spearphishing
Spearphishing is isn’t a nautical sport. It is con in which people get what seems like a legit and serious e-mail from their bank or other financial service like Paypal warning of a security breach and asking customers to log in with their password to protect themselves. Never respond within one of these e-mails. Call the bank or log in from the site where you normally do and inquire and report. Serious security threats will not be reported to you by e-mail. Spearphishers count on your fear and cooperation to gain access to enough information to clean out your accounts.
Remember, one plus one equals too many facts. Small pieces of information you share can be added together to create a profile perfect for identity theft. The internet can be useful and fun, but protect yourself as if your life savings depends on it, because it just might.