5 Steps to Protect Your Social Profiles From Identity Theft

5 Steps to Protect Your Social Profiles From Identity Theft
  • Opening Intro -

    Identity theft is on the rise, and with social media burrowing into every aspect of our lives, it is easier than ever for us to have our identities stolen.

    Many people are rather care-free and whimsical about writing all kinds of private information on their Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and other social media profiles.

    It has become common place to be completely open about who we are, where we have been and where we are going.


By John Phillips

But, not all of our friends are psychologists who are sworn to secrecy about those intimate details of our lives.  Most people don’t even know who all of these “friends” even are.

Here are 5 steps you need to take to ensure your social profiles are not putting you at risk.

1.       Take out any information about your date of birth. As much as you want everyone to wish you a happy birthday, you will be better off leaving that exact date off of your personal resume.  Yes, it’s a small piece of information and seemingly harmless, but in the hands of an ID professional, it can lead to other valuable pieces of information about you.  Most of your real friends will know when the big day is anyway.

2.      Don’t enter your full name. You might have a wonderful middle name that you want everyone to know, but leave it out.  This is especially true if you are using your maiden name as your middle name on your Facebook page.  It’s a bad idea.  Remember someone asking you for your mother’s maiden name so they could verify your identity?  Well just think how easy it would be for an ID thief if they could just see your mother’s maiden name on her social profile.

3.      Erase any information about your exact address. This should be obvious, but it is common for people to enter the exact city and street they live on in a social profile.  Just enter the state you live in and that’s it.  If someone you know wants to know your address let them message you privately.   Leaving off your address is important because ID thieves sometimes will search by city and state so they can find someone local.  Then they will sift through your mail and try to get more info out of you.  This is just another reason to get a locking mailbox too.  Leave out your city of birth in your profile too.

4.      Stop adding people as your friends if you don’t know them. This is an important step as well because more crooks are pretending to be your friends so they can extract more data out of you.  Someone may even borrow one of your friend’s pictures to use as his own so that he can seem like the real deal.  This is why you should message him first before adding as a friend on Facebook.

5.      Make sure your page is only visible to your friends. That being said, you may be surprised to learn how many ID thefts happen because of action on the part of friends.  On Facebook you can select which people can see your profile with its now limited information.  You can allow family to see some of it while friends cannot see as much.  Myspace also allows you to make your private data invisible to those who are not your friends.  This really underscores step number 4.

Every personal piece of information leaves a trail for an ID thief to follow and to finally hunt down your identity.  You wouldn’t tell your neighbors where the hide-a-key is, likewise you should not tell the world the very information that can lead to your identification and peace of mind being taken away.

Author Information

John Phillips is a writer for www.SafeIdentityProtection.com, and you can read more about identity protection here to make sure that you are not making it too easy for the identity thieves.  There are also reviews on the top ID theft protection services that the site recommends.


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Categories: Personal Advice