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Welcome to the ProtectMyID Blog

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


Boomers and Facebook

Feb 15

Elderly on Computer

The other day, my grandfather friended me on Facebook. That’s right, this man who fought in World War II is now social networking with all of his grandkids – sharing photos updates and participating in online polls and games.  When looking through my granddad’s profile, I was surprised at the amount of personal information he was sharing and with whom. I immediately called him, explained the need to customize privacy settings and remove some of the more sensitive information from his profile.

According to an inaugural report by JD Power and Associates Web Intelligence Division, which analyzed Internet postings from 70 million blogs and discussion boards, 83 percent of Baby Boomers and seniors have a high level of concern about identity theft.  Yet, many of them unwittingly engage in online activities that put their identities at risk.

In addition, a recent survey from Impulse Research, sponsored by noted that 75 percent of respondents over the age of 45 actively utilize an online social network, yet alarmingly, more than half are not adequately protecting themselves from fraud.  Here are some tips to share with your friends, especially those over 45, who may have already entered or are thinking of entering the world of social networking.

1. Remove Yourself From Facebook Search Results: It’s simple to turn off your public visibility by following these simple steps.

– Visit your search privacy settings page.
– Click on “Edit Settings” and enter your password.
– Next to “Facebook Search Results” select the “Only Friends” privacy setting.

2. Remove Yourself From Google:  Facebook continues to receive traffic from displaying profiles in search engines. To remove yourself from search engines, visit the search privacy settings page and simply uncheck the box next to “Public Search Results”.

3. Control What Information Applications Can Access: Publicly available information includes your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friend list, and pages. The more restrictive you make your profile settings, the less information that’s available.

4. Make Contact Information Private: If you post your personal information on your profile, it would make sense to limit who can see it.  You can do this by visiting the contact privacy settings page.

5. Understand The New Privacy Settings: Rather than posting a status update that everybody can view, limit those friends who can access your information.

2 Comments Add your comment

  1. Bill
    Feb 17 at 13:36

    Excellent Facebook tips! I didn’t know about the Search Results setting – great tip. I too am surprised by how much info some people share on FB.


    ID-Alvin Reply:

    Hello Bill! We appreciate your feedback and I have set my FB account to where no one can find me in search results. In this day age with identity theft, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


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