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Guard yourself against identity theft on social networks | Dallas Morning News | Pamela Yip

December 15, 2008
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Yes, we have freedom in America. But . . .


Guard yourself against identity theft on social networks

08:14 AM CST on Monday, December 8, 2008

By PAMELA YIP / The Dallas Morning News

The next source of identity theft may be social networking Web sites.

And social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are becoming a “growing pool of valuable information that at some point thieves may consider more valuable than a credit report,” Mr. Mitic said.

For example, most of us use facts associated with our lives as user words or passwords, and thieves are learning they can mine these facts from social networking sites.

“I know most Americans who, if they have pets, that’s usually their password,” Mr. Mitic said. “The information that may seem innocuous to share may have real value to individuals with criminal minds.”

Social networking sites enable people to freely express themselves in a way that may cause them to unwittingly drop morsels of information that criminals can extract to steal their identity.

Here’s how it might work:

Your profile says that you live in Texas, you were born in Dallas, your beloved pet’s name is Max and that you like to spend time with your parents, Dick and Jane.

It also says that today you’re venting your anger at your bank – Bank XYZ – because it’s been slow to resolve a problem with your account.

Now criminals know the name of your bank, the name of your pet and your mother’s name. They will seek to learn your mother’s maiden name, which is often used as a security question on bank Web sites.

Guard yourself against identity theft on social networks | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Pamela Yip | Personal Finance | Business Columnist | Dallas Morning News

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2008 3:29 pm

    Why aren’t banks secure?
    The whole idea behind keeping your money in a bank vs. in your mattress is that a bank is secure. The banks are FDIC insured for accounts up to $100,000.00 which is higher now due to the economy. The issue these days is that we are getting our identity stolen right at the bank. Here is an example below of one who had over 200 accounts opened up under his name and a huge amount of cash…yes I said cash taken out of his account without having to verify a valid ID.

    What is the answer? Do we keep our money in the mattress? Do we make the courts do something? Tell me your thoughts…..

    • 1familyman permalink
      December 24, 2008 11:49 pm

      When family is secure then banks will be secure.

      The opportunity for exchange and service are abundant and limitless as long as there is a core of trust. When trust is lost the foundation for currency and exchange is too. Family is the core of trust. Family is beyond political parties, nations, race, religion and whatever box would be created by fear. Where there are loving families there is hope. When trust is placed in the wrong places . . . there eventually is a correction.

      So, rather than becoming distracted by the storm of selfishness (id being stolen) the main effort is to:
      1) Be aware of the goal of our efforts: Recreate family life as the core
      2) Be aware of our current situation and offer guidance and support to avoid the pitfalls of a family-limiting social environment (example id theft)
      3) Build a healthy, boundless family culture

      That’s what I think and challenge myself to live daily.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Those are some of my thoughts. What do you think?

    • 1familyman permalink
      January 7, 2009 2:01 am

      Security and commerce are beyond banks and such. We may be entering a journey where we will have to discover this . . . or not.

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