The internet is a goldmine for identity fraudsters, and with identity fraud at an all-time high it has never been more important to protect your privacy online. Social media plays a big role in this, as people publicly post information without realizing anyone can see it or that it could be used to impersonate them. On top of that, simply by browsing the internet without the proper precautions you are giving away far more information that you probably realize.
Let’s start with the most obvious. Nobody on social media needs to know your address, phone number, email or where you are. Most social media platforms will ask for these details, but it is not always required, and it is never required to make this information public. Delete this information wherever you can and hide it if you can’t delete it.
Similarly, keep everything you post private too. Even seemingly innocuous information could give criminals a clue they can use to pass data security checks and impersonate you. Just think about how many of the standard security checks you could answer just by scrolling through the average person’s Facebook profile: date of birth, names of pets, and their first school are just a few examples you can probably find in only a few minutes.
If you don’t need or aren’t using your social media accounts, don’t leave your information lying around online, delete them.
Don’t Let Your Data Be Someone Else’s Product
It’s no secret that where you go, what you search for and what you buy is being tracked online. This has its benefits, providing you with more relevant marketing or products/services that you are more likely to be interested in. The privacy concerns with this are obvious however, in particular who collects that information and what it is used for.
Individual sites and marketers generally aren’t tracking you themselves. Instead they buy your information from data brokers. Until recently there has been a lack of scrutiny when it comes to who these data brokers sell to, the nature of the information they will keep about you and the measures they take to secure that data.
Fortunately, these businesses usually allow you to opt-out of having your data sold, or to correct or delete your data. Unfortunately, once your data has been sold or stolen the damage is already done, so it pays to be proactive and opt-out of the popular data broker sites.
ReputationDefender’s online reputation specialists are experts at removing personal and confidential information from the internet.