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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection | article

The Risk Social Networks Pose for ID Theft

In this day and age, many individuals rely on social networks for interpersonal communication more than they do email, texting or even telephone or face-to-face chatting. Because this is now one of the primary ways to share personal information with friends, loved ones and even strangers, the risk for ID theft on social networks now exceeds almost any other medium. With so much exposure on these communication platforms, protection from identity theft is harder than ever. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using websites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other social network popular today:

  • Embrace privacy and security settings – These tools are there to help and are in place for a reason. Control who can view your profile on these websites by not permitting strangers to access your photographs or posts without requesting your permission.
  • Posts are forever – Even if you delete information that you share on your social network, any time it spent live cannot be erased and individuals who came across it – including those inclined to commit ID theft – can use it against you.
  • Don’t turn a positive into a negative – If you have a great user profile on a social network site, it says a lot about your personal “brand.” This could look impressive to employers, potential schools or even just your overall reputation among your peers and superiors.

Should a friend post something compromising about you on the internet, don’t put protection from identity theft on the back burner in favor of avoiding disapproval from your friend. Be vocal about asking them to remove anything negative about you from the website – the safety of your identity is too important.

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