News & Resources

Facebook, Twitter use can lead to identity theft

Jul 03, 2013 Dave King

The popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter has surged in the past couple years. With hundreds of millions of users browsing these sites each day, identity thieves have begun to target personal information.

Once a criminal has stolen someone's identity, they often attempt to open up lines of credit, which is why short term lenders need to be the first line of defense against this type of crime.

According to ABC 9, Facebook and Twitter have given thieves a new way to steal identities. This type of crime has been around for a long time, but social media has made it more prevalent, as greater than 11 million people have their identities stolen annually.

Information on social media websites that can make it easy to steal an identity includes full names, birth dates, children's names, hometowns, mother's maiden names, schools attended and addresses.

People may think they are safe if they delete their pages, but that isn't the case, as the information is already out there to help criminals steal identities.

Another way social media sites leave users vulnerable to identity theft is through target advertising, EO Network noted. Facebook and Twitter encourage users to share as much information as possible to fuel target advertising.

Additionally, these platforms are prime targets for outside cyberattacks, with so much confidential user information stored on servers.

As social media continues to grow in popularity, identity theft is likely to follow suit. That being said, short term lenders could see increased demand, as these types of instances often lead to credit score damage. As a result, consumers may have to increasingly turn to these financial institutions as they often use alternative credit methods to approve applications.