by Ben Bretz, SequrID www.sequrid.com 402.405.0438
I love Facebook! It’s a great way to keep up with family and friends, meet new friends and reconnect with people from our past. It’s also a great way to learn a lot of useless information. People use FB to post what they had for dinner, their favorite coffee house, what their favorite sports team is doing, ask for advice, etc. Others use FB to “stalk” people or “creep” on photos. I don’t think there are very many FB users out there who haven’t done any or all of the above. It is a fun way to stay connected with others. BTW… If you haven’t seen The Social Network, the movie about FB, you are missing out.
The problem with FB is no matter how much you think things are private, they ARE NOT! Minor example: if a friend “tags” you in a photo or a “check in” and their privacy settings aren’t the same as yours, guess what???? That photo or check in just became public knowledge. Another thing that is not private is your friends or more importantly, your family members.
This is where we start talking about Social Engineering. Social Engineering defined is “the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.” An identity thief uses deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access and the majority of the time, they never come face-to-face with their victim.
What happens is a criminal will identify someone they want to target. They will then start to gather enough information from that person to gain access to bank account, credit card, email and numerous other “password protected” accounts to steal their identity. This may not even be for financial gain. A couple months ago the editor of a magazine had his Iphone, Ipad, and MacBook completely wiped clean, everything was gone. He sat and watched it happen and was completely helpless. Later he found out that the hacker wanted his Twitter handle and worked his social engineering magic to hijack his Twitter account. When this happens, not only do you feel helpless, but you feel violated.
Now we come full circle to FB. Think back to some of the security questions you have filled out for your bank account, credit card, email, cell phone or any other “password protected” account. Here are some examples; “What is the name of the High School you graduated from?” “What is your pet’s name?” What is your mother’s maiden name?” “What is your father’s middle name?” “What is the name of your favorite team?”
I think you get the picture of some of the questions. Now, do me a favor and “stalk” your own FB page for a minute. Are any of these questions answered on your page?
Facebook does have its place. Remember, I said “I love Facebook!” Most, if not all of us, are not going to go back and edit our page and delete any of the information that a criminal might use against us. What I do want you to think about is the password questions that you answer. Please, for your own sake, choose the harder questions. And, if you are able, create your own set of questions.
Remember…. Whether it’s your bank, credit card company, employer or Facebook, NO ONE is going to treat your information the same way that you do!
If you have any questions about social engineering or anything else regarding identity theft, feel free to contact or office here in Lincoln. 402-405-0438
If you would like more information, or you think someone might have stolen your identity and you would like more information. You can contact our office, here in Lincoln, located on 1135 M Street Suite 210. You may also call (402) 405-0438 or email us at email@example.com.
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