By LynnPost |Staff Writer|
Identity theft is a world wide problem and can happen with just a click of a mouse.
Thousands of cases of identity theft through social media have even been reported.
At least one person in 8.6 million households in 2010 had their identity stolen, according to the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.
With numbers that high you should ask could I be next and how can I avoid becoming a victim?
To make sure no strangers could access my personal information I made my profile private. Only the people I grant access to can view my private information.
The only thing that is available to the public is my profile picture and my cover photo.
However, if a phone number or an e-mail address was visible it would be easy for a person to steal my identity.
In a society of social media users and tweeters, every detail of a persons’ life can easily be shared. Therefore caution and consent is a must.
Pictures posted on social media sights can lead to theft as well, which was the case for Notre Dame player, Mant’i Te’o’s relationship with Lennay Kekua, a woman who he said died from Leukemia.
Te’o was reported to have stayed up on the phone with Kekua until she feel asleep, while she was hospitalized before her death.
Yet the two never met, worse it was later reported that she never existed.
Outrageous stories like this do not happen only to celebrities.
According to news.com.au, a nine-year-old girl named Katie had a photo stolen from her, it was used on a social media site by an individual named ‘Mallory’ to generate one million likes on her social media site.
If pictures can cause damage to a persons’ identity then other information shared can lead to problems as well.
If your phone number, date of birth or full name is posted on your social media site you are left vulnerable to fraud.
Many individuals may think that if your profile is private then it is safe, but Facebook’s policy page states, “For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”
Whatever you post or change your privacy settings is subject to Facebook use. You may own the information, but they have the right to use it.
Student Lacey Miranda was shocked that Facebook reserves those rights.
“If you have people your talking to they obviously have your number to get ahold of you. You don’t have to put it on Facebook,” said Miranda.
Student Elizabeth Lara said, “I remember once I was watching a show that invited guest who had been stalked on social medias. There was one individual that had her stalkers calling her and telling her ‘I see you, I know what you’re wearing, and what you’re doing.’”
Occurrences like that can happen when people post their whereabouts or activities on their social media sites.
These are equally detrimental to personal safety, because it gives too much information about you to individuals looking to commit crimes.
Therefore keep safe, by not hitting post or upload until you check any potential personal safety hazards.