How at risk is your identity?
Social networking is a great way for keeping in touch — but it’s also a magnet for criminals looking for personal information they can use to steal your identity, borrow money in your name and clear out your accounts. These tips will provide you with safe social networking practices.
1) Don’t give too much away. Even your full name, date of birth and address can be useful to a criminal, so hide behind a username and don’t share anything you use as a PIN or password, such as your wedding anniversary or your dog’s name.
2) Don’t accept every offer of cyber friendship — check out claimed connections and contacts first. You could be letting a fraudster into your world and putting your ID at risk.
3) Use the security settings so only true friends can see your more intimate postings and don’t let other people post anything publicly that could cause trouble. They may not guess that your school nickname is now your bank account password — but a criminal might.
4) Think before you post. For example, holiday snaps may seem like innocent fun to you but they could alert a thief that you’re away from home or frighten off a potential employer if there are any unsuitable photos.
5) The Home Office recommends regular checks on your credit report as a precaution against ID fraud. It lists accounts including cards, loans and mortgages along with new applications and your repayment record, so it’s easy to spot anything unfamiliar — and stop trouble before it takes hold.