Yesterday I was visiting with a client. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with his assistant. Naturally we were discussing social media sites and she was telling me how she used Facebook to find and keep in touch with relatives and friends. I agreed with her that it was a great tool to connect with others. But then she told me I put my phone number and address on the sites so that they could contact me and send me information. I immediately advised her that while social networking sites have benefits they also have negatives and one of them is identity theft.
Below are three recommendations for protecting yourself against online identity theft on Facebook
Think carefully about who you allow to become your friend
Once you have accepted someone as your friend they will be able to access information about you (including photographs) that you have marked as viewable by your friends. You can remove them should you change your mind.
Show “limited friends” a cut-down version of your profile
You can choose to make people ‘limited friends’ who only have access to a cut-down version of your profile if you wish. This can be useful if you have cohorts who you do not wish to give full friend status to, or feel uncomfortable sharing personal information with.
Disable options, then open them one by one
Think about how you want to use Facebook. If it’s only to keep in touch with friends and family then maybe it’s better to turn off the bells and whistles. It makes a lot of sense to disable an option until you have decided you do want and need it, rather than start with everything accessible.