Chances are, you’re among the 72% of Americans who use social media. Maybe you enjoy the “short and sweet” appeal of Twitter and Snapchat, or you like Facebook because it’s a great place to stay in touch with old friends and family. If you’re a real social media maven, you could be active on all the major platforms. It doesn’t matter which site or app you choose, though. What is important is how you use social media and what you’re sharing — or oversharing.
Social media privacy is a big problem because many of us — often unknowingly — share too many personal details online. Some people, including about half of all Facebook users, set their profiles to “private,” giving the illusion that they are free to share with reckless abandon. Others don’t even think twice about account security. With or without iron-clad privacy settings, individuals using social media should always ask themselves this question before posting: “Am I sharing something that thieves could use to steal my identity?”
The truth is that identity thieves can find ways to monitor your profiles, get through your social media privacy settings, and collect information they can eventually use to steal your identity. Recurring internet users are already 30% more likely to become a victim of fraud than those who spend less time online. These changes only increase for those on social media, who run a 46% higher chance of experiencing identity theft or a related scam.
Identity thieves can employ any number of devious tactics to get what they’re looking for, but there are certain things you may be doing to make their jobs a whole lot easier.
It’s never too late to change your social media habits, so while you may be guilty of oversharing in the past, you can move forward and guard your personal information a little more closely.