It seems so innocent – you add a few details to your online profile about your favourite football team and your place of birth, or you tell friends on your social network about your holiday plans.
However, these seemingly innocent and harmless actions could put you at risk. Stop and think about how much information you post about yourself online.
- Post information about when and where you’re going on holiday?
- Post your address online anywhere?
- Give lots of details about your birth place, pets, favourite football team etc in your online profile?
- Allow people who you don’t know to see your profile/updates?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you may want to take action to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of identity fraud.
Facebook safety and online safety
No one would intentionally give away information about their name and address to a stranger, or tell a burglar when they’ll be away from home, or give out clues to their PINs, passwords and security questions, but many of us unwittingly do it online, by not paying attention to our social networking privacy setting on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe and retain your privacy when it comes to social networking:
- Friending: Think about only ‘friending’ people who you know in real life, or through someone else.
- Privacy settings: Make as much use of the privacy settings available to you as possible – this will keep out strangers and cyber-acquaintances. Try to check your settings regularly.
- Personal profile info: Be careful about giving away clues to your passwords and security details in your profile or on your blog/website.Your full name, date of birth, address, and telephone number are valuable basics for a fraudster. As well as this, try not to give away nicknames, birthdays, children’s names and especially anything you might use as a password or PIN.
- Communal computers: If you’re using a computer that someone else might use, always shut down and log out of your e-mail programme and social networking accounts and don’t tick the ‘Remember me’ boxes which store log in and password details.
- Phishing: Watch out for third-party applications, like quizzes, personality tests etc on Facebook, Twitter etc – they may seem like harmless fun, but think about the kind of information you’re giving them and check that you’re not giving them your password or log in details.