Social networking sites are the new wave of the generation. People are crazy about them. And they have a lot of reason to be. Social networking sites, Facebook especially, have revolutionized the way people across the globe communicate. Making it easy to connect with friends and business connections you otherwise would not have gained contact with. However, Facebook is not all fun and games. It could be a breeding ground for financial disaster.

Identity thieves feast on personal information such as your full name, birth date, birth place, email address and even your pet’s name. It only takes a few of these information to hack into your personal accounts. And with the advent of online banking, these information could just be the thing identity thieves need to make a run for your money.

Identity thieves are smart. They can get one little detail from you and connect it with another. Although it may seem harmless to post a picture of your favorite dog and place a caption of just how much you think Fifi looks cute in this picture, that little piece of information could be the answer to the security question banks and other financial institutions ask you when you forget your password. The thing is, when you post too much information on Facebook, even a high school student can go ahead and hack (and possibly drain)  your account.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from identity thieves in Facebook:

  • Do not place critical personal information such as birth date, birth place and your full address. These information can be critical to identity thieves.
  • Do not place contact information such as your home phone number, cellphone, and  email address
  • Do not post your daily whereabouts. You’re making it doubly easy for stalkers to find you. Instead of posting where and when your hot weekend party will be held and how excited you are, post the details after the event. That is, if you really need to do so.
  • Do not add everyone up as your friend. When Facebook and other social networking sites are concerned, you shouldn’t be overly friendly. Only add friends that you know personally, not friends of friends or someone you just met at the local grocery store or at the bar.
  • Be careful when answering seemingly harmless quizzes such as “10 Things Other People Wouldn’t Know About You”, this could have been made specifically to gather personal information.

Although social networking sites pose a threat to your identity, they are changing the way the world communicates and it’s always better to have one than none at all. You just have to be vigilant about the information you’re disclosing, especially if these information could be clues for identity thieves to gain access to your email, your SSS number, and even your personal bank account.

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