As consumers spend more and more time online, cybercriminals can learn more and more about them. What many don’t realize is the information consumers innocently post online (that all their friends are posting, too) could come back to harm them if they’re not careful. At Frankenmuth Insurance, we work with CyberScout® to give customers comprehensive identity protection services.
In addition to using CyberScout, you can stay safe online by knowing what others can find out about you. Through posts, cybercriminals can often learn:
- Your birthday. If you’ve shared your birthday on Facebook, nearly anyone can see it. If your social media profiles are listed as public, hackers can look back to the day friends wished you a happy birthday or see when you posted your own birthday message.
- Where you live. Anytime you tag a location or share photos of surroundings, cybercriminals can paint a more complete picture of where you live and the places you frequent (which makes it easier to steal an identity). Be wary about sharing your hometown or tagging nearby locations. Better yet, disable location sharing on all platforms.
- Your travel plans. In the same vein, sharing photos while on vacation on a public profile can be dangerous. Unfortunately, identity theft can happen to anyone, anywhere.
- Your pets’ names. Since some of the most popular passwords contain pets’ names, sharing your animal’s name online can give away clues to the password that protects your privacy or even your bank accounts.
- Your interests/hobbies. Think about it: you receive an email with a promotion to see your favorite team or an unheard-of discount to your favorite store. Do you click? By sharing your interests and hobbies online, cybercriminals can create targeted scams to increase your likelihood of clicking.
- Your passwords/account numbers. Cybercriminals commonly use phishing scams to con consumers into typing their account numbers, usernames, passwords, etc. into fake sites. If you receive a suspicious message or one that prompts you to log in, call the source first. If you enter your information online carelessly, criminals can gain easy access to personal data.