July 24, 2014

Share Everywhere

Social Media Identity Theft Prevention Tips

As the social media expert here at IdentityForce, it’s my job to share information about our products and enhanced identity theft protection services, as well as keep our customers apprised of the latest identity theft news. Social media is the best way to connect with people all over the world. But, there are social media identity theft concerns you and your family should keep in mind when using services such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Google+, etc. Here are eight essential identity theft prevention tips to help keep safe.

Click with caution. Be wary of links that come across your timelines in social media; they could be part of a “phishing” attack that redirects you to a fraudulent website.

Create a “strong” password. Make sure you create strong passwords for your social media accounts and make them unique. If a hacker cracks one of your passwords, they can easily hack into other accounts, including your financial accounts if you are using the same password everywhere, which is a big no-no.

Post with caution. What you post online is permanent, even after a social media account is deleted. So be cautious about what you share, especially information or pictures/videos of your kids.

Don’t over-share. Identity thieves can learn a lot about you, like your pet’s name and more, by simply viewing your social media profiles, and then use that information to hack into your financial accounts.

Don’t be too friendly. Only accept invitations to “connect” from people you know or that have a legitimate reason to contact you.

Too much, too soon. Children under the age of 13 should not be using social media sites, or be allowed to surf the web unsupervised. Make sure they know the ground rules for social media usage in your family and monitor them continuously.

Filter out the “not safe for kids” content. Research software or online services that filter out offensive materials and sites. Services such as Comcast can block inappropriate TV channels and you can set up your digital devices to keep kids from viewing offensive content. The best filter at home is to set up your family PC in the living room, family room, or any room where you spend a lot of time together.

Don’t share your contact list. Often, upon logging in to social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, you will see a prompt to share or import your contacts. Don’t––it’s not safe. Your friends will thank you for keeping their information secure.

Keep Your Family Safe From Social Media Identity Theft and More

To keep safe beyond social media identity theft, you can enroll today in IdentityForce’s UltraSecure with optional ChildWatch. With ChildWatch we continuously monitor thousands of websites, chat rooms, and blogs to help keep your child’s identity and privacy safe from cybercriminals.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Jason Howie.

Melanie Medina

Sr. Director of Digital Marketing at IdentityForce
Melanie is a native of Bolivia who has lived in Boston for over 10 years. She likes to make time to travel, jog, read, and play backgammon. Fueled by copious amounts of coffee, Melanie stays on top of her to-do list while also keeping abreast of identity theft issues. Serious data breaches are happening all the time in the U.S. and Melanie loves being part of a solution that brings peace of mind to families across the country.

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