How social media is increasing your risk for identity theft

1 minute read Published on Jun 21, 2012 by BrokerLink Communications

How social media is increasing your risk for identity theft

Everything you put online can help a criminal steal your identity. Find out what you can do to protect yourself.

Criminals can steal your photos, personal details and online passwords in a matter of seconds, all from the comfort of their home. With the increased global use of social media, there are more opportunities than ever before to steal identities or perpetuate fraud online. And when it comes to stalking or stealing an identity, social networking sites provide insights into you, your family and friends, your house, favorite hobbies and interests – and that’s just the information that you have made publicly available. 

Typically, most social media sites generate revenue with targeted advertising, based on personal information. In order to do this, they encourage users to provide as much info as possible. And while most people know they should never share their social insurance number (SIN) and driver’s licence, many social networking sites ask for similar sensitive information. Needless to say, if this information ever got out, it could compromise the security of your identity. And with events like the recent LinkedIn password hack that leaked 6.5 million passwords, it is more common than ever. 

Now, before you start to cancel all of your social media accounts, consider that there are ways to be smart about what you share online. And guess what? Most of it comes back to common sense.

As a reminder, here’s a list of best practices to help keep you safe online:

  • Never give out your SIN or driver’s license numbers.
  • Use unique user names and passwords for each profile.
  • Vary your passwords and change them regularly.
  • Minimize the use of personal information on your profiles.
  • Only invite people to your network that you know.
  • Watch where you post and what you say online.

However, while these steps can better protect you, the only way to be certain that you’re fully protected is to get identity theft insurance. It’ll take care of you before, during and after you’re attacked. 

Don’t be a victim of one of the fastest-growing consumer crimes in Canada. Instead, let BrokerLink find you the right coverage to protect yourself, your company and your household against identity theft.

You can also learn more about protecting yourself from fraud.

If you or someone else you know has become a victim of identity theft, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.