Twitter is unique among social media sites because it allows users to have conversations with a very large audience in very few words and by default anyone can follow anyone. You can follow your favorite celebrities or get news from a trusted source’s stream, breaking down many barriers of communication.
As great as it is to share your thoughts and opinions with your followers, there is a potential hazard that comes from such large exposure. It may seem like 140 characters doesn’t give you a lot of space to put yourself in harm’s way, but one sentence may be all it takes to set you up for identity theft.
Birthday Wishes or ID Theft Invitation?
Identity thieves can use your date of birth and where you were born to determine your Social Security number. You may not post the date on your Twitter profile, but friends and family may tag you in Tweets with birthday wishes. This is enough information for the thief to begin applying for accounts in your name and leaving you with the bill.
Public or Private Feed
When you sign up for a Twitter account, you have the choice of a public or private feed. Some may think they have an interesting Twitter feed and want to share their thoughts with the the world, however, for the sake of your credit score, you may want to make your tweets private.
Only your followers will be able to see your private feed. If you need a public feed for business, consider separating your personal and business by creating two Twitter accounts.
Credit monitoring systems are another safeguard that will help make sure there are no problematic surprises on your credit report. However, being careful about what information you put out there should be your first line of defense against identity theft.