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“Ahh! I got accepted into my dream school – I definitely have to post this on Facebook.”
“Nice! My vacation to the Bahamas for two weeks is next month. I HAVE TO let my Twitter followers know where I’ll be.”
“Ugh! Someone at work just irritated me so much that I need to vent and let it out on Tumblr.”
“OMG. I can’t believe I’m about to turn [insert unbelievable age here]. I should make an Instagram or Snapchat video about my growth, maturity, and what this age means to me.”
We get it. Life brings so many unexpected moments – both good and not so good – that are great to share with friends, family, and acquaintances. However, when it comes to sharing those moments on social media, we all need to employ a bit more caution, as the information we share can sometimes cause more harm than good. And not just in terms of someone vehemently disagreeing with a social media post your customer wrote, but more in terms of cybercriminals collecting the personally identifiable information your customer freely shares on social media to then use to commit identity theft/fraud.
Hackers only using data they’ve illegally obtained from data breaches (bought, sold, or otherwise) is a pretty common misconception. In reality, hackers still use some “old school” or basic methods for collecting consumer data, like dumpster diving and increasingly leveraging social media platforms. Hackers will take the information they find online about your customers to then create a profile on them, which can, in turn, be used to help them achieve their goal of identity theft/fraud. And that’s a headache your customers surely don’t want to deal with.
To assist in determining what information is best kept offline and away from the eyes of a potential cybercriminal, we’ve listed below a few details we recommend your customers not share on social media:
- Social Security number
- Full name
- Home address
- Cell phone number
- Personally identifiable information regarding spouse, children, etc.
- Vacation plans
It’s also a good idea for your customers to disable any social media related location services so a passerby can’t see where they are – or where they’re going.
We understand how advising your customers to not share momentous experiences can be difficult and can seem unrealistic in today’s world – because, seriously, everyone absolutely needs to see a photo of your customer’s dog wearing his/her Halloween costume! However, advising your customers to create the habit of limiting what they do share online could help them avoid identity theft and save them time and money should an incident occur.