Fraud Prevention Series: Sharing Your Information Can Make You More Vulnerable to Fraud

August 11, 2020

If you are a frequent social media user and tend to share personal information online, you may be at greater risk of becoming a victim of fraud. Take a look at these three online habits that may lead to higher fraud possibilities, and ways to prevent identity fraud.
A study by ID Analytics, a fraud-fighting firm, examined 100,000 consumer records involving a mix of known fraud victims and non-victims and found those who shared the most about themselves — who were among the top 20% of sharers — were four times more likely to be victims of fraud.
Three predictors of fraud
The study determined that consumers should be wary of sharing what may seem harmless data about themselves online, such their birth date. This is an essential piece of information often needed by criminals when committing identity fraud. The study also determined three predictors of becoming a fraud victim. They are, in order:
1. Number of social sites used
2. Number of websites of any kind where personal information was viewable to the public
3. Number of past addresses that can be found
Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself from identity fraud.
How to protect yourself 
To avoid identity fraud start by being careful about where you share your personal information, such as posting “fun facts” about yourself, like the street you grew up on or your first concert. This type of information is often asked for account security question, and sharing this information could make you more vulnerable to identity theft.
It is also important to keep your birthdate, address, and phone number safe, too. Only share your information with people you trust – including your family and friends. Using strong passwords for your accounts, keeping virus and spyware software up-to-date on your laptop and home computer, and using firewall software will also add extra protection for your information.
By taking precautions when you are online and with your personal information, you can keep from becoming a fraud victim.

Tags: Fraud Prevention Series, Security, Tips and Tricks