One of the major causes of identity theft is the fact that many of us share too much personal information on social media.  Identity thieves are able to harvest this information which may include, addresses, employer, email address, phone number, birth date and names of family members to use to make us victims of identity theft.  Too many people don’t even give any thought to the amount of personal information about themselves that they make available online through social media and the danger of identity theft it poses.  Recently Facebook announced that in order to remedy this situation it was offering a privacy checkup to each of its 1.28 billion users.  As a part of Facebook’s new privacy policy it will also change the default setting of new posts by adjusting initial posts to be seen only by friends rather than the public.  A public setting which was formerly the default setting permits anyone on the Internet to see posted photographs and messages.  Soon when people go to post something on Facebook they will see a cartoon blue dinosaur that pops up with the message “We just wanted to make sure you’re sharing with the right people.”  The dinosaur will then guide you through your privacy settings for status updates, remind them of teh apps that they have given permission to use their Facebook data and review the privacy settings for their profile information.


Many of us are not aware of the personal information available about us in various social media and how we have, often unwittingly, allowed this information to be broadly available, which can pose a danger to us of identity theft or worse.  Now is a good time to not only review the privacy of your data on Facebook, but on all of your social media.  It might surprise you to learn how widely disseminated your personal information is and that you have agreed for it to be available by not taking the time to better understand the privacy rules in effect on each of the social media sites you use.