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Social networks continue to be a haven for identity thieves

Feb 17, 2012 Karen Umpierre

More than 850 million users are on Facebook, 100 million active users on Twitter, 135 million LinkedIn accounts – social media is a great way for individuals and businesses to interact with one another. Unfortunately, identity thieves can take advantage of users' nonchalance on these websites. Michelle Dunn, a debt collection industry expert, told U.S. News that hackers have unique ways of obtaining business and consumer information through the social network. "If you look like a really good-looking girl, a lot of people would accept a friendship even if they don't really know the person," she said. If a business or personal account on a social network isn't set to private, it opens the gates for an identity thief to view personal information. If a user mistakenly accepts the friend request of an identity thief that is posing as someone else, they may be putting their financial credit at risk. With an address, birth date, Social Security number and other details, an identity thief can open up credit card accounts and make fraudulent transactions. Always ensure that your company's profile or employees' information is hidden from public view on social networks.