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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DANGER! DANGER! FACEBOOK IN USE

Posting a photo on Facebook of your adorable new puppy sitting on your family room sofa has the potential to cause your identity to be stolen and your credit to be compromised. How? The seemingly meaningless dribs and drabs of information you post about yourself -- from your birthday to the exciting new assignment you received at work -- can be pieced together by cybercriminals to recreate you online. What does Facebook have to do with your identity and your credit? "Well, the biggest problem is that there is a lot of information that is given on your Facebook account," Adam Levin, chairman of Credit.com, told The Wall Street Journal. "You give it. Other people give it. The result is that it makes it easier over time for identity thieves to cobble together what they need in order to recreate you and then go out and commit identify theft, which will definitely impact your credit." Levin has four suggestions for Facebook users so they can better protect their identity, although the fourth suggestion is a bit extreme for the diehard user.

Change your Facebook name.
This doesn't have to be a radical change. Just a tweak will do. For example, instead of using Andrew Brian Rourke, change it to Andy Rourke or Andrew B. O'Rourke. "It's anything you can do in order not to allow someone to create building blocks to recreate you," warns Levin. "And your name is a critical part of that."

Don't reveal your real age.
Either remove your birthday entirely from your Facebook profile information or only include the month and date. "People have this obsession of giving their age online. You can, if you have a desperate need to get birthday wishes every year, then give the month and the day," Levin told The Wall Street Journal. "You don't have to give the year. Or give a different year."

Don't reveal your location.
While you should never post that you're on vacation in Tahiti for two weeks, which broadcasts that your home is empty, you also shouldn't take photos in your home. Something called "geotagging" automatically reveals your location, including longitude and latitude. "[Geotagging] will ultimately lead someone to where the photo was taken. A lot of people love to take photos in their home and say, 'Here's my new piece of art,'" cautions Levin. To turn off the geotagging feature on an iPhone, go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services and turn it off.

Deactivate your Facebook account.
If you're not there, no one can hack you.

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