Identity theft is a growing problem. Part of the reason for this rise in the number of people having their identities stolen is the use of the internet for social and commercial interaction. A recent study has shown that people who spend the most time and do the widest range of activities online are up to four times as likely to have their identities stolen. They routinely share personal information on multiple online channels, and this behavior increases their degree of online exposure.
A growing number of people see the convenience of online activities as being more important than privacy and security. While many companies are working to create methodologies and technologies to protect people’s identities online, cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated with each passing day. They’re able to capture sensitive information from a wide range of people, and it’s getting harder to catch them. People trying to reduce their risk of becoming a victim of identity theft should be careful about what information they share online and what sites they share it on.
The increasing popularity of social media is also making people more vulnerable to identity fraud. Each day millions of people interact on social media. Yet few of them know how to protect their identities online. In an attempt to generate revenue through the use of targeted advertising, these sites encourage users to share as much personal information as possible. Users trust the social platforms and freely share private information. Sadly, many social platforms lack effective policing and security methods so their users’ information is vulnerable to nefarious characters.
People who share their full name including middle name, date of birth, home town, school name, location, and graduation date, relationship status, pet names, affiliations, hobbies and interests on social media run a great risk of becoming a victim of identity theft and other types of fraud.