If You're Using -- or Thinking About Joining -- a Social Networking Site
Innocent online chats, blogs, videos and networking are like breadcrumbs that identity thieves can follow to the feast. When you're interacting online, keep these ideas in mind:
• Consider site privacy and logistics policies. Some sites allow only users to access posted content, while others have lax privacy policies. Policies are updated periodically, so be sure to check for changes on a regular basis.
• Restrict access to your profile and information. Do not correspond with anyone you don’t know or trust. Assume that everything you post on social networking sites will be visible to everyone. And don't assume they won't know it's you -- at the very least, adjust your profile so your blogs and other materials are available only to "friends" to whom you grant access. That doesn't guarantee security, but it's a start.
• Do not post or reveal personal information. Likewise, don’t post anyone else’s personally identifiable information. Think of it this way: once it's on the Internet, you can't take it back.
• Use unidentifiable screen names. Make sure your screen name does not reveal your name, age, hometown, or residence.
• Do not trust strangers. Do not provide sensitive financial information over the Internet or phone unless you initiated the contact and are communicating with a verified and secure location, such as the number or Web address found on the back of a credit card or statement.