Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Microsoft Facebook Users Identity Theft Risk

Although with this week's big acquisition move by Microsoft,
Facebook users are still facing an even larger latent identity
theft potential.


In a recent example of how providing just a few personal
details on your Facebook page can lead to identity
theft,
a consumer watchdog group was able to secure enough
personal information from 35 out of 100 randomly contacted
people to enable opening up new credit accounts.

According to RTEBusiness:

"Despite knowing nothing about the person, 35 of those
contacted replied immediately - giving "Amba" and the
Watchdog team access to any personal details they
shared on the site.

One of them was Scott Gould, 23, from Devon.

His Facebook entry contained his date of birth
and home town. The team used these clues to
find more information about Scott on other
publicly available internet sites.

They were then able to open an online bank
account in his name and successfully apply
for a credit card."

A very sobering thought for any parents out
there who may have teen age kids as Facebook
users.

So, our tip for today is to guard your kids
online information sharing practices. Let your
kids know anything they share about themselves
can lead to identity theft or worse.

As a result, its always a good idea to institute
credit & public profile monitoring on you and
your family's personal identities.

Finally, make sure to tell your friends or associates
about this important new development in identity theft
prevention.

2 Comments:

At 9:50 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

Let's do the math here to extend this out hypothetical to the 50 million Facebook users.

Suppose only 20% of that 50 million are teens who would expose enough of their personal information.

That would leave 10 million unique individuals at risk.

While we may be exaggerating the risk potential here to simply make an editorial point, the ultimate question still remains - just how big of a problem can this become if left unchecked?

Perhaps, now that Microsoft has taken a significant equity stake in Facebook, personal information security will take a higher level of importance.

What do you think?

 
At 7:01 AM, Anonymous red said...

Maybe now that the Facebook CEO got all of those millions of dollars, they can institute some degree of advisory services to their users so as to not make it so easy for teens to reveal their personal data.

 

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