Could You be a Victim of Social Engineering?

Do You Put Your Birth Date on Facebook?

There are three pieces of Private Identifying Information thieves want:

Your Name

Do you have a nick name? Use it on social media rather than your legal name.

Your Birthday

If you don’t need to give your actual birth date, but they site needs one. Then give a fake date.

Your Social Security Number

Ask why do you need my Social Security Number? Most companies who ask for it don’t need it. Your doctor doesn’t need it.

Don’t give it, if you don’t need to.

Burglars want to know:

Where do you live

Turn-off location tagging on your photos.

When are you not home

Wait until you are home to post pictures of your vaction.

What do you own

Don’t post about your new TV, iPad or diamond ring.

Better Business Bureau: Burglary in the 21st century


“According to my dad, back in the day burglars would use newspapers to find their next victims. They would scour the paper for weddings, funerals, family reunions, things that would take people out of their homes. With this information they would know when homes would be unoccupied and plan their crimes accordingly. Just imagine what social media has done to the business of “burglary”. Today you have Foursquare, Facebook check-in, Tripit and many other outlets that broadcast to the world your whereabouts, and subsequently when your home will be unoccupied.”

“People are not going to stop using these social applications, but there are ways they can use them safer. Here are a few tips. Check your privacy settings on Facebook to ensure only friends are seeing your activity. Only add actual friends to your social networks. Refrain from making announcements on social sites regarding extended trips. Don’t post pictures that reveal the address or location of your home. Don’t post pictures of expensive items in your home! Keep in mind the next time you post from your iPad that you can wait to leave for Cancun in the morning for 7 whole days! You just let the burglar know you would be gone, for how long, and that you have an iPad!”

About Bruce Demarest

Bruce Demarest is a Identity Theft Protection Specialist. He has designed and taught classes to educate individuals and businesses in identity theft risk management. The individuals have learned how to continuously monitor their financial identities from credit fraud, plus how to monitor their personal identifying information for unauthorized use. His business clients have become compliant with the federal & state privacy laws. He has conducted information security audits to identify their potential problems and has designed security policies, programs, and practices to address those problem areas.
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