If you follow the news, you know that Facebook is in some real hot water right now as it faces fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Reports suggest that the data-analytics firm obtained info on 50 million Facebook users via a personality-prediction app. That info was then used in the 2016 presidential campaign.
All of this is a reminder that the more info you put out there about yourself, the more that info can be used in ways you might not have intended, and you may even be putting yourself at risk for identity theft by sharing too much info on social media.
Don’t post these things on Facebook!
Any single piece of this info listed below could help a crook steal your identity, wreak financial havoc in your life or just simply learn too much about you, as we’ve seen in this latest data scandal.
If you’re putting any of these things out there on Facebook, take the info down right now!
Full birth date
The date of your birth is a critical piece of info that a criminal would need to commit identity theft against you.
A survey conducted by Visa found that almost half of 1,000 respondents said they disclose their birthday on social media.
Visa found some 29% of people admitted to sharing their phone number, too.
Twenty percent of people list their home address on social media, according to Visa.
We’ve heard recently about everything from fake package delivery scams at home addresses to criminals posing as utility workers and showing up at people’s homes with the threat that they’ll turn off the power if they’re not paid.
All the more reason not to give out your home address info on social media!
Mother’s maiden name
Particularly around Mother’s Day, you see a lot of people putting up pictures of their mother and tagging her in the photo.
Some 14% of people say they list their mother’s maiden name on social media.
But don’t you do it! Your mother’s maiden name is another key piece of info a crook needs to breach your identity and apply for credit in your name.
Listen to Clark discuss this topic on The Clark Howard Show Podcast
Social Security number
Could there be a worse thing to share from an identity theft perspective?
Yet 7% of people fess up to posting their Social Security number on social media.
Not only shouldn’t you share your Social Security number, you should go one step further: Do a credit freeze to limit the ability of the crooks to open new lines of credit in your name.
Other things to not post
Lifewire suggests you should refrain from posting the following on social media.
- Relationship status — Who needs to give the stalkers their cue?
- Geotagged photos — You never want to disclose your exact location for security reasons.
- Vacation photos — Posting these while you’re still away advertises that your home is likely being left unattended. Hello, burglars!
- Embarrassing pictures — Anything that would prevent you from getting a job offer or threaten your current employment is best left offline.
- Info about your current job — Don’t invite corporate espionage into your life by posting about a missed deadline or a project that went awry!