Let’s be honest: Being at home as much as we are can get pretty boring. This can eventually lead you down a path of bad decision making.
Now, some people are using their free time in productive ways, like making cloth face masks for family and friends. Tap or click here for a simple DIY no-sew mask project. It uses things you already have around the house.
Others are spending more time in front of the TV binge-watching shows or glued to their phones or computers on social media. But, like always, spending too much time on Facebook can lead to serious trouble. The latest Facebook “challenge” to go viral is a great way to have your identity stolen.
Awh, that was a great mullet
By now we’ve all seen at least a few friends posting their senior portraits on Facebook. The posts include the name of their high school and year of graduation. It is day 945 of the year 2020, after all, and we’re running out of things to entertain us.
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Why are people posting these throwback pictures? It’s in support of the graduating class of 2020. Most schools around the country are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year’s class of seniors is missing out on important life events like prom and graduation ceremonies.
It all seems innocent enough, and who out there with a heart doesn’t feel at least a little bad for these kids and want to show some support? Plus, it’s fun showing off just how fashionable our hairstyles were back in the day. Sweet mullet, bro!
The problem is, posting stuff like this on social media can be a real danger. So much so that the Better Business Bureau is stepping in with a harsh warning.
“Watch out, scammers or hackers who surf through social media sites will see these #ClassOf2020 posts and will now have the name of your high school and graduation year, which are common online security questions.”
Remember, it just takes a quick internet search for scammers to find more information about you, including your full name, date of birth, family members and where you live. Some of those facts open up others, too. With the name of your high school, fraudsters can easily find out what your school’s mascot was — another popular online security question.
All of this information winding up in the wrong hands isn’t trivial. It can lead to identity theft.
Hence the BBB’s warning to be cautious about what you’re sharing. Even if you think it’s just going to friends, others may see it too.
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This isn’t the first post like this to go viral since most of us began sheltering in place. Others include people sharing the cars they’ve owned over the years with makes and model years, who their favorite athletes are, and their top 10 favorite TV shows.
Some of these “favorite things” are commonly used for online security questions or even account passwords. Yikes. If your social media privacy settings aren’t strong enough, you could be handing over valuable information to cybercriminals.
How to stay safe on social media
OK, now you know one thing not to do. Here are a few other ways to stay protected:
Resist the temptation to play along – While it’s fun to see other’s posts, it’s best not to participate yourself. The more you share, the better chance a scammer has of stealing your identity.
Review your security settings – Check your security settings on all social media platforms to see what you’re sharing and with whom. Facebook already has a history of failing its users and breaching their privacy. Now is a great time to make sure your account is on lockdown. Tap or click here for privacy settings you need to use for Facebook.
Change security questions/settings – If you’re nervous about something you shared possibly opening you up to fraud, review and change your security settings for banking and other websites.
Sign up for an identity theft protection service that you can trust – There are just too many security threats out there to keep track of everything yourself. If you’re worried about identity theft, have a trustworthy ID theft protection service do all the work for you. We recommend Identity Guard. Get up to 33% off for Kim’s audience only, with plans starting at less than $7 a month at IdentityGuard.com/Kim.
Let’s face it, with everything going on in the world today we could all use a little break every now and then. Social media can provide a nice breather — just make sure your security settings are strong and you don’t overshare personal information and you’ll be fine.