Simple Solutions: Ways to prevent identity theft

July 17, 2013 5:22:02 PM PDT
No matter how hard you try, you can't prevent social media-related identity theft.

Even if you delete your Facebook account, turn off Twitter, and cut yourself off from social media, there is probably still enough information about you out there to help the bad guy's access your financial life.

It is in the stuff you have already posted, other people's posts about you, and in huge databases that have been tracking you on and offline that can get you in trouble. However, there are some ways to make you less of a target. More than 11 million people get their identity stolen every year. One person becomes a victim of identity theft every three seconds.

Cyber thieves look for tidbits of information online to figure out what your confidential passwords could be. This includes your full name, your birth date, your children's names, your hometown, your mother's maiden name, the schools you have attended, and your address.

That means get rid of all of these on your Facebook page and Twitter account. Keep your pets names private.

Also, beware of apps. Free games and quizzes seem like fun, but typically their purpose is to suck up info about you and your friends.

Another trick - personality quizzes. Many are set up by identity thieves to get personal information about you. And if you own a smart phone, you are 35 percent more likely to be a victim of identity theft.

Florida, Georgia, and California have the highest reported cases of identity theft.


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