Identity Theft Myths Part 3of3 During PYIW
Identity Theft Expert Robert Siciliano
The National Foundation for Credit Counselors, which sponsors Protect Your Identity Week, has compiled a number of identity theft myths. To support their efforts, the Santa Fe Group Vendor Council Awareness and Education Subcommittee has helped to clarify some common misinformation with regards to this increasingly common crime. This is the third and final post on the subject.
Myth #8: I don’t use the Internet, so my personal information is not exposed online.
Your personal information appears in more places than you might realize, whether it’s your medical records, a job application, or a school emergency contact form. Many of these records are kept in electronic databases and transmitted online. Social networking sites are another good source of personal information for identity thieves. Even if you do not use them yourself, your friends or members of your family may be sharing personal information about you. Not using the Internet may offer some protection, but it won’t keep you safe from online criminals.
Myth #9: Social networking is safe.
Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter can be fun to use. But they can be dangerous when it comes to your identity. These sites are used by thieves and others to steal information, trick people and promote a variety of scams. To protect yourself, avoid making personal information available to large groups of “friends,” take advantage of the privacy controls offered by most of these sites, and use common sense.
I blogged about social networking websites for the Huffington Post.
Myth #10: It is not safe to shop or bank online.
Like social networking, shopping and banking online are safe as long as you use common sense and make good choices about where and how you do it. Most importantly, always take care to confirm a site is legitimate before you use it, watch out for copycat sites, and keep your computer safe from viruses.
Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft protection can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk.