As consumers spend more and more time online, cybercriminals can learn more and more about them. What many do not realize is that the information that consumers innocently post online (which all their friends also publish) can come back to harm them if they are not careful. At Frankenmuth Insurance, we work with CyberScout® to provide customers with comprehensive identity protection services.
In addition to using CyberScout, you can be 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, almost 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. Every time you mark a place or share photos of the surroundings, cybercriminals can paint a more complete picture of where you live and the places you visit (making it easier to steal an identity). Be careful about sharing your hometown or tagging places nearby. Better yet, disable location sharing on all platforms.
- Your travel plans. Similarly, sharing photos while on vacation in a public profile can be dangerous. Unfortunately, identity theft can happen to anyone, anywhere.
- Your pet's name. Because some of the most popular passwords contain pet names, sharing your pet's name online can provide clues to the password that protect your privacy or even your bank accounts.
- Your interests / hobbies. Think about it: you get an email with a promotion to see your favorite team or an unknown discount to your favorite store. Are you clicking? By sharing your interests and hobbies online, cybercriminals can create targeted scams to increase your likelihood of clicking.
- Your passwords / account numbers. Cybercriminals typically use phishing scams to get consumers to enter their account numbers, usernames, passwords, etc. in fake websites. If you receive a suspicious message or a message urging you to log in, call the source first. If you carelessly enter your information online, criminals can easily access personal information.
Looking for more information to detect scams? Interested in building protection? Talk to one of our local, independent agents about our identity protection services and coverage today.