Identity Theft and Facebook
With the internet having moved into the age of “social media”, people need to be aware of the dangers that lurk with seemingly “innocent” websites, like Facebook.
Many enjoy the ability to be able to connect with friends and family on Facebook, but they don’t realize the amount of risk associated with their habits. Many Facebook users, especially the younger generations, tend to be willing to accept friends into their account without knowing who the person sending the request is. Some will accept a request that only includes a picture of an item or an animal, rather than one of a person.
We found an old article on the PCWorld website a few years back, where an IT security firm did a probe to see how bad the problem really is. They took the words “false identity” and created a profile for the anagram “Daisy Felettin”, a 21 year old. Then, they took “stolen identity” and made it “Dinette Stonily”, a 56-year old. Randomly chosen Facebook users (in the same age groups) were then sent a friend request, just to see how many would accept. A whopping 95 people accepted within a two week period, with an additional 8 others asking Dinette to be friends. Turned out that over half of each group had in some way shown or given their birth date. Some others weren’t hard to guess, given the information offered in their status updates and comments. The information given didn’t stop with them either. Many were willingly giving personal information about friends and family as well.
What should those who choose to use Facebook do to protect themselves, and others they are close to, from identity theft?
Here is what the article in PCWorld suggests,
-Only accept those you “know, like and trust” as friends. The number counter on your friend list is not important, it’s the people you are accepting that should matter to you.
-Know the privacy system of the website and be sure to use restrictive settings.
-Don’t give too much information, too soon. Be discreet and selective with what you say on these sites.
-Be aware that everything you say on the internet will more than likely be there indefinitely. Even though you may choose to delete something, it can turn up later.
This entry was posted on Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 8:00 am and is filed under Articles Concerning Identity Theft. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.