By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
Facebook has forever changed the way society interacts. Individuals can become “Facebook friends” without ever having met in person.
Also, Facebook and other social media sites bring together individuals who may otherwise have lost track of one another. However, social media sites are also an excellent data mining opportunity for hackers intent on committing identity theft or fraud.
Avoid Friending Individuals You Don’t Actually Know
On Facebook, it’s easy to “friend” someone whom you don’t actually know. Once other Facebook users are added to your friends list, they can access your personal information and see your location, family members or other information that they can use to track you down. “Friending” someone gives a stranger access to personal information you may not want that person to have.
Security Quizzes Also Reveal Information about You
Social media sites are meant to bring individuals together in a virtual community, so there are often cute quizzes for individuals to answer and post to their wall. For instance, these quizzes may ask seemingly innocent questions such as “What was your first car?” or “What was your first job?”
These questions are fun to answer in a social setting, especially when you’re reminiscing with old friends. But discussing the answers online can lead to serious problems with your personal security. You may inadvertently reveal clues about your gender, age, birthplace or current location that a stranger can use for identity theft.
Ultimately, you must think carefully about what you post on Facebook or any other social media site because you won’t have complete control over who will see that personal information. While social media sites are a great way to socialize and have done quite a bit to improve emergency response, they’re also excellent ways for your personal information to be used for the wrong reasons.