How much information do you really need to share with all your friends online? It can be a lot of fun to catch up on what your friends and family are doing by using social media, but are you putting too much out there for potential bad guys when you write a post?
What you are sharing may seem innocent and free from financial information but be mindful of the following three things before you share: quizzes, profile details and check-ins. This information can provide scammers with the tools they need to compromise your financial security.
Quizzes: They are fun to take and easy to share. This makes them ideal tools for scammers. There are services that can help a valid business set up a quiz to help with their marketing strategy and that is a great, new idea. However, there are some businesses that are in the business of stealing your business.
Is there an actual value to the information you are sharing in a quiz? There is to an identity thief.
According to research on Buzzsumo, the average quiz gets shared 1,900 times on social media.
You may be familiar with the following style of social media quiz: “See how well your friends really know you. Post and share.” Then there is a list of questions, and after you read your friends’ posts, you are supposed to respond with your own information and share the following:
-Who was your best friend in high school?
-What was your high school mascot?
What was your favorite class in high school?
Who was the best man or maid of honor at your wedding?
What is the city where you were born?
What is the name of your first pet?
What is the name of your favorite movie?
Who was your favorite teacher?
Name of street where you grew up?
What is the make and model of your first car?
Who was your first boyfriend / girlfriend?
Sound familiar? It should. The list is actually the same list of security questions from the Anthem Blue Cross website when you first sett up an account. If you get in the habit of posting this type of information, then it immediately becomes public information.
Profile details: Before taking a quiz, you may have had to agree to terms and conditions of the quiz app. What you might not have noticed is that in the fine print you just granted access to the details in your profile, your likes, your photos and your friends. One particular app includes “and other content that it requires to work.”
It’s great to get birthday wishes from your friends, but that is just one more piece of security information out there about you. You don’t need to provide it to scammers.
Make sure to review your privacy settings. Remove details such as your address and your birthday from your settings.
Check-ins: It can be so tempting to let all your friends know where you are, especially when it’s somewhere really great! If that somewhere is out of town, and your house is empty because you’re on vacation (say, in Hawaii), then you have just digitally opened your door to burglars.
There are GPS locations on some photos, and some social media sights and apps want to track your location. Make sure to review your tracking and photo settings. Make sure you don’t innocently provide access to your accounts or your home to the bad guys!
Tami Sipos has worked with families for over 20 years with their tax and financial planning issues, especially during times of critical transitions. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Oc Register