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News from our Affiliates Committee...September 2019

Maureen Broderick cropped reduced

Protecting your identity while using social media

Presented by Maureen Broderick, Sr. Mortgage Lender, Fifth Third Bank, NMLS #698316 

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There’s not a day that goes by that most of us are not on our favorite social media platforms, connecting us with our friends, family, groups and work colleagues.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn users collectively create a gargantuan worldwide online social scene.  All of us like to share tons of information. 

When social media first developed on the internet, the information that we could share was fairly limited, comprising mainly of status updates, pictures and videos.  Now with the advancement of technology, social media is well integrated now with our smartphones which has definitely become a game-changer.

Today, we all put it out there on social media by tagging friends, our locations, posting live videos, and listing our education and work histories, with businesses/organizations creating pages and adverts to recruiting staff and appeals to students.  What is hitting now though with all of this advancement to social media is IDENTITY THEFT.  So, here’s the question we all are dealing with…“Is it really a good idea to share so much or ourselves on social media?”

Sharing isn’t the main problem.  In fact, sharing is a good and positive aspect of online living allowing us to connect and communicate ideas fast and conveniently to others.  The major security focus is over-sharing, whether due to ignorance (about who’s snooping on us) or simply being out of touch with online safety.  Sharing too much personal information about ourselves creates a higher level of risk for us.  Most of our friends and family already know about us so putting that personal information can raise your level of security risk.  One idea that is commonly happening is users putting the city in which they live when it would be much easier to just list the state.

Another security issue that keeps rising is the need to tell everyone that you are on vacation, the airport that you’re departing from and your destination…a perfect way to tell everyone that your house is empty.  Refrain from giving too much information out on your personal lives.

If you value your privacy on Facebook and Twitter or any other social media, it’s definitely worth customizing your social media Privacy Settings.  Toggling specific options can really help tighten down on security, like limiting what kind of audience can view your posts and how much strangers (not yet friended) can see of your posts and profiles.

It may be nice showing your friend count on Facebook, but now it’s much wiser to forget the number and instead focus on building a list consisting of only those you trust.  Always keep an eye on your accepted friends and do question random friend requests. 

Enjoy being on social media but keep a high alert on yourselves because the number of hacked accounts has been increasing more than ever before.  Choose strong passwords to protect your account and be watchful of bogus advertisements.