How to Protect your Identity in the Social Media Era

Social media changed the way we define privacy. If at first publicity was only granted to those who seek it, today, it is almost completely random. Social networks aim to extract as much information from their subscribers, learning their thought patterns and behaviors. In this new environment, it is important to learn how to protect your identity in the best way possible.

Why Does Identity Fraud Should Worry You?

However, social network companies are those you should be afraid of, and in any case, they are probably the least dangerous. It is the environment that they created of extreme exposure opened up the door for new tricks and crimes from the hands of the oldest type of criminals- identity fraudsters and thieves. If in the past these criminals needed to do some serious work to steal your vulnerable and private information, today they can easily use the information freely given to them via social networks. There are two types of criminals: Those that use social media fraud to steal your identity and pose as you, extracting information from your friends and family, and those who use your identity to commit further crimes. In both cases, it is crucial that you learn how to protect your identity from these criminals. People who have been the victims of such crimes report that the price they had to pay varied from a good few hours wasted retrieving and fixing the damage caused, to hundreds and thousands of dollars stolen from personal accounts. There have been cases of people committing suicide, after becoming victims to attacks by identity thieves, who use their anonymity to abuse contacts.

How to Protect Your Identity from Online Identity Thieves

There are a few steps you should take to protect your identity from theft:

The first step is to understand the risk involved in exposing yourself on Social networks. Everything you say, like, heart, or comment on, is monitored. If you follow or like a politician’s page, social networks are designed to suggest you follow other politicians as well. Social networks also save your searches, personal messages, and locations. They use that information to improve marketing and sales strategies. The answer to the question “How to protect your identity?” is “reveal as little as possible”.

Remember to always protect your password. A strong password would make it harder for thieves to hack and use. Do not use your personal information as part of the password. It is fairly easy for identity fraudsters to guess passwords that rely on information like birthdates, anniversaries, and the name of your children, pets, and spouse.

Also, never click pictures or links you do not recognise, even if it was sent to you by your friends or family. You never know who is behind that profile, and whether your friends have been hacked.

A lot of people work very hard to maintain their information safe, and neglect to keep their computers safe. If you use a laptop, make sure that that too, is protected by a secure password, and that your computer will automatically lock itself if left unused.

Follow this guide on how to protect your identity, and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of internet crime.

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