With enough ingenuity on a hacker’s part, they can potentially steal the identity of a social media user. You may not realize just how much, over time, you’re posting online about your personal habits and data. Here are some of the best ways that you can combat identity theft through social media.
Social media can provide attackers with a lot of information without them working too hard. Think about the kind of information that you might have on your personal Facebook or Twitter feed. Do you have a phone number? What about an email address or physical address? Do you have any information about the musicians you listen to, or the books that you enjoy? All of this information (and more) can be used to help a potential scammer steal your identity and use it for various ill offenses – the gravest of which could be stealing your identity and using it to attack those you hold dear.
Imagine what could happen if someone were to steal the credentials to your social media pages and use them to impersonate you. They could fool all of your closest friends and family into giving up whatever information they are looking for. For example, they might be able to coax your parents or loved ones into parting with personally identifiable information such as your Social Security number or credit card number, which could be used to open new lines of credit or make fraudulent purchases. Regardless, the threat posed by identity theft through social media is considerable, and you must take precautions to ensure that you don’t fall for these traps in the future.
Here are some ways that you can make sure this doesn’t happen.
- Be on the lookout for suspicious activity on your accounts: If you suspect for even a second that your accounts have been compromised, be sure to change your passwords so that they can’t be used to hurt those closest to you.
- Look out for dangerous messages sent to you: If you suddenly receive messages from those who you haven’t heard from in a long time, and their behavior is suspicious, perhaps it’s best to ignore these messages or alert those who you think may be affected.
- Limit the information you share on social media accounts: Information can’t be stolen if you don’t choose to share it. Consider implementing more powerful privacy settings for your accounts.
Businesses are just as vulnerable to attacks as individuals, if not more so. If you are like billions of others, social media has become an important part of your life, and quite possibly, your business.
Does your company have a social media policy in place?