Yahoo!Finance has posted an article that gives insight into how social networking websites can work against you in several situations, including debt collection, employment prospects and scams that can lead to identity theft.
Jobseekers should automatically assume that potential employers will do a Google search of their name and often social networking sites are some of the first results. You should take down questionable material and pictures. Or just set your profile(s) to private. Even established employees can sabotage themselves by posting negative material about their company or boss on sites such as Twitter. It’s also important to remember that even material you set to private is still on the internet and thusly still accessible.
Social networking sites are also being used by debt collectors to track down debtors.
“If they don’t have a good phone number or the mail’s being returned, a lot of them use Facebook to find out if they have a different address or their employment information.”
Debt collectors also keep an eye on debtors, not necessarily by contacting them, but by watching what the debtor posts. Some debt collectors violate legal and ethical boundaries and assume fake identities online to closer watch the debtor and possibly gain more information. Of course, debt collectors can also use this opportunity to further harass their debtors.
People provide social media sites with such a large amount of personal information that scams and identity thieves are rampant. Identity thieves can use seemingly innocent information to forge access your accounts.
If you have a public Facebook profile that gives your birth date and your parents’ names and that kind of thing, they can provide the answers to security questions that your bank might have on its Web site.
Be wary of people who try and add you as friends, on sites such as Facebook, who you don’t actually know. They might be hackers or scammers or people trying to sell products.
Being smart with the information you put online can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Be careful of what you say about yourself and other people online, don’t add people you don’t know and always be mindful that identity thieves and hackers are on the same website.
If you have had issues with debt collectors or identity theft, feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.