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Protect Yourself from Social Networking Scams

Date Added: August 13, 2009 08:33:38 AM
Author: ConsumersConsortium PR3 Directory
Category: Computers & Internet
 



Protect Yourself from Social Networking Scams



Author: Adam Singleton


Unfortunately, victims of this type of fraud will often only find out their identity has been stolen when a card purchase has been declined or they have been refused credit, for example a new credit card or a mobile phone contract. There are several ways of protecting yourself, however, while keeping in touch with your friends online.

Most of us would delete an email from a bank that requested login information for any reason but there are now several other routes that a fraudster can take. Be on your guard from unexpected pop-ups or links from friends that ask for any personal information as these could be used to steal your identity. Equally, be selective with the friend requests that you accept. While you may want to have lots of contacts it would be easy for a fraudster to slip through the net in this way. Make sure you only accept requests from people you know and trust.

Including information such as your date of birth, contact details or pet’s name on your profile page is a dangerous move. These can be used to set up a new credit account or to guess the passwords used to protect your bank and credit card accounts. Amend your privacy settings to only allow close friends to view your profile and to restrict who is able to post messages on your pages. Friends may unintentionally post personal information that you wouldn’t want others to see.

While file sharing is a good way of passing photos, music and video between friends, these files can also contain hidden viruses that steal confidential information from your computer. Be careful when downloading and always make sure the file has definitely come from a trusted source. Just because it looks like it came from a friend, it may not have.

Never share your password with anybody, even to check your emails or to show them your photos, however much you trust them. It is easy for these to get into the wrong hands and although in most cases your trust would not be breached, it may happen even if it is only done as a joke.

Unfortunately, you can never assume that your personal information is safe – there is always a chance that enough of your information has been found to open credit accounts in your name. Your credit report, which keeps information such as your credit history, including mortgages, credit cards and mobile phone contracts, also records any new applications made in your name so that you can easily identify any fraud that has been committed.

It may be a good idea to have a regular credit check to make sure your report is accurate and up-to-date, and to look for suspicious entries that could mean you’re a victim of identity theft.



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About the Author:

Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.


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