Social Media Privacy: Shielding Against Identity Theft

February 26, 2024

Social Media Privacy: Shielding Against Identity Theft

With over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become an integral part of our daily lives. Yet the simple act of connecting digitally comes with a serious risk- identity theft.

Identity theft, which is the impersonation or unauthorized use of someone’s personal or financial information is increasingly becoming a threat among social media users. A 2022 Identity Fraud Study reports that approximately 42 million Americans were victims the previous year, costing consumer victims up to $52 billion in losses.

As digital presence expands through social sharing, so too do potential vulnerabilities. Let’s shed some light on social media’s role in enabling identity theft, high-risk privacy practices, and steps you can take to prevent the theft of your identity through services like iLOCK360, a division of TCG that focuses on credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

The Motive Behind Social Media Identity Theft

As an active social media user, there’s always a 30% possibility that you’ll fall into the hands of identity thieves. You may wonder why they try so hard to steal your personal data.

Well, these identity fraudsters have various criminal reasons and motives, including:

  • Access your data, such as credit cards, tax returns, and even bank accounts, and use it to commit fraud.
  • The scammers will also try to damage your reputation by posting offensive or false content. They might even use that chance to harass or bully others using your profile.
  • They will try to use your information to scam your friends or followers online. These crooks could ask for money, spread malware to their accounts, or even send phishing links to them.
  • Blackmail is another motive. The fraudster will try to extort you or their victim by sending threats to expose your private messages or photos.

With that in mind, you should secure your personal data to prevent malicious attacks from cybercriminals. Treat your social media privacy like a vault, and maintain a secure platform for peace of mind.

How to Protect Your Privacy on Social Media

These are some of the best practices you can use to protect your privacy and prevent identity theft on social media.

1.    Do Not Share Your Personal Information

By all means, avoid sharing your sensitive data on social media. This could be your full name, phone number, address, date of birth, or even your email. Instead, use a nickname or pseudonym for your profile.

Cut down on the number of pictures or videos you share publicly, especially those with your face, belongings, or location. Check out your privacy settings on every social media page and adjust them to your preferred level of privacy.

2.    Apply Strict Privacy Settings on Your Social Media Accounts

Limit the number of people who can see your pictures, posts, tags, or even those who can find you in the search. Block or unfriend anyone who looks suspicious is unknown or is abusive.

Two-factor authentication is also very important to prevent unauthorized access to your social media account. It offers an extra layer of protection by ensuring that you get a code from your phone or email to verify your identity every time you try to log into your account.

3.    Avoid Tagging or Posting Your Specific Location

Avoid posting content that shows your whereabouts as this can subject you to very serious risks such as kidnapping, stalking, burglary, and so on. That’s because identity thieves can use your location to track your movements, impersonate you, and even access your accounts.

To be safe, you should also consider turning off geotagging or any location services that can expose your location or travel history.

4.    Get to Know Your Friends on Social Media

Do not accept friend requests or a following from just anyone. Most identity thieves have fake profiles that they use to scam you.

Fraudsters use these fake profiles to spread malware, ransomware, or even phishing links and spam messages. They could also gather your personal information through these profiles and use it against you.

5.    Log Out of Your Social Media Accounts

As a precaution, always ensure you log out of your social media account once you are done. Leaving them logged in could expose you to identity thieves who use your logged-in account to access your personal data. Crooks can also use your account to log into other platforms linked to your social media account.

6.    Use Strong Passwords

Passwords act as a barrier to prevent crooks from easily hacking your account. Use a strong password that makes it difficult for hackers to guess. A good password should be complex, unique, and unpredictable and should consist of a combination of lower and upper-case numbers, letters, and symbols.

Never use your date of birth, phone number, or name to create your passwords. A data breach investigation conducted in 2017 by Verizon reported that at least 81% of breaches linked to hacking are initiated by compromised or stolen passwords.

7.    Utilize Security Software Programs

Always use security software on your devices to access your social media accounts. These could be an antivirus firewall or a VPN. By doing this, you protect your personal data from malware, ransomware, or spyware, which can be used to steal your personal details.

Security software can also alert you when suspicious activity occurs on your devices or accounts. This allows you to secure your account if you notice activities that you don’t recognize.

Shielding against Identity Theft with iLOCK360

If you are a victim of social media account theft, then you should contact iLOCK360 and take advantage of our identity theft and credit monitoring system. We provide you with the utmost personalized protection for your identity and credit.

We monitor your personal and financial information and alert you of any suspicious or fraudulent activity. Our services also help you restore your identity and credit when stolen. Get in touch with us today for more information on the privacy and security of your social media accounts.

Get identity protection

There’s an iLOCK360 plan to fit your unique needs

View plans →

Connect with Us

Related Posts



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *