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Welcome to the ProtectMyID Blog

Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Social Media and Identity Theft

Aug 03


If you regularly post pictures, video and other data on the Internet or are a regular user of social media or social networking sites, it is important to be aware that you may put yourself at a greater risk of social identity theft. Social Media ID theft happens when someone poses as you in order to harass you or people you know — or when someone steals your social media identity for financial gain.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and former AK Governor Sarah Palin were victims of this crime. Just like financial identity theft, social identity theft is impossible to prevent but there are some precautions you can take to minimize risk and damages.

In general, do not be specific about anything you post. Don’t post kids names, addresses, birth dates, pet names, phone numbers or any account numbers or financial information. Also, do not post if you will be on vacation, out to dinner or away from home for a period of time, as this lets burglars know your house is an open target.

Whenever possible, take advantage of privacy settings offered by networking sites in order to limit access to your personal information. Social Media is fun and no doubt a part of our future, but like anything else, we just have to be smart when we use it.

1 Comment Add your comment

    Sep 16 at 13:47

    I am a reporter writing a story for Carnegie Mellon Today magazine on how it is possible to guess someone’s social security number from information posted on Facebook or MySpace.
    I am looking for someone under 30 who had his or her identity stolen and had to work very hard to get their credit restored. If anyone know of anywho who would be willing to talk to me about the anguish of identity theft, please have them contact me.
    Many thanks.


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