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Is social media putting you at risk of identity theft?

Cybercrime is a multi-billion dollar business. It’s not just kids sitting in their basement, these are professional criminals. Fraudsters are becoming increasingly savvy at adopting your social posts and using it to target your information. When you post pictures and information of your memories to share with friends and family, fraudsters are potentially gathering information that might put your finances at risk.

In fact, incidents of identity theft were up 13 percent compared to last year. While that total amount was the same, more people fell victim this year according to the Javelin Group.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself from identity theft:

Remove geotagging

When you post to your favorite social media sites, is your location included? Many apps have location tracking built into the software by default. When you are posting about a fun day enjoying holiday beverages or shopping with friends, you are creating a map of your activities.

Don’t be your own paparazzi

When there is snow on the ground, resist the urge to post a play-by-play of your beach vacation. If you pre-post your itinerary of when and where you will be traveling, this can make you a prime target for fraudsters.

Be careful about the information that you share

The same questions used to identify you when you log into your account can be answers that you easily give out unknowingly on social media. When you can, choose your own security questions. Select questions that are complex and not easy to find on your social pages. As a good test, scroll through your pictures and posts or do a quick Google search to see if you could answer these common security questions?

  • Mother’s maiden name. Who would ever share that information? Well, with more grandparents jumping onto Facebook and the popularity of genealogy sites, this information is easier to find than you might think. When you share exciting information about your family tree, tag family in posts, and show relationships in your profile, you’re vulnerable.
  • Your first car.
  • Pet’s names. Pets are a part of the family so of course they are going to make it onto your social pages!
  • The city you met your spouse.
  • Your birthday. 68 percent of people shared their birthday and even if you don’t share it, friends and family might wish you a happy birthday on your wall.

Being aware of common tactics in identity theft is just another way Numerica is helping you to relieve stress and live well!

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