When you think of social media, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably something along the lines of 100 supposedly different photos of your friend’s newborn baby (just don’t tell your friend that every photo looks the same), or the daily exercise routine of your health-nut coworker, or maybe a YouTube video of the unlikely friendship between a kitten and a bird – you know the one I’m talking about.
I bet one thing that doesn’t come to your mind when you think of social media (unless you read the title of this article) is identity theft. But if you think about it, based on all of the personal information people share about themselves, social media sites are an identity thief’s delight. As innocent as it may seem, posting a photo and caption of you with your dog Wagner, for example, could reveal the answer to one of your Online Banking security questions.
You should always be monitoring your accounts to ensure all transactions were authorized by you. This includes your checking, savings, credit card and line of credit accounts, etc. and can easily be done through Online and Mobile Banking. But there are measures you can take to mitigate your risk of being a victim of fraudulent activity to begin with.
Here are some best practices that allow you to balance being active on social media and being smart about protecting your identity:
- Use unique user names and passwords for each profile, and change your passwords regularly.
- Utilize privacy settings, and only connect with people that you know – I mean really know, like in real life.
- Minimize the amount of personal information you include in your profiles. When possible, try to avoid including your full name, birthday, address, hometown etc.
- Be smart about what you post. Do not give away personal identifying information that someone could potentially use against you.
- Be cautious of what you download. I know that a link promising a video of a turtle on roller skates seems irresistible (what is it with those animal videos??), but try to muster up some self-control and make sure to verify the source of a link before clicking on it.
- Use common sense. When in doubt, don’t do it.
Have I officially scared you away from ever using social media? I hope not. When used smartly, it’s a great tool that allows you to easily stay connected with your friends and family. You just have to use that noggin of yours and think before you post.
What to do if you are the victim of identity theft
The Federal Trade Commission has recently announced the launch of a new website, IdentityTheft.gov, a resource that makes it easier for victims to report and recover from identity theft. The website includes an interactive checklist that walks you through the recovery process. It also includes sample letters, specialized tips for specific types of identity theft, and advice for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach. See? The internet isn’t all bad.
If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:
Top ATM Safety Tips
It's Fraud Season: Protect Yourself
How Identity Thieves Steal Your Information
This past weekend, 1st Mariner Bank participated as exhibitors at the Mondawmin Resource Festival "One Baltimore" event which was held at the Mondawmin Mall in Northwest Baltimore City. The event was held from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
In attendance were dignitaries such as Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Maryland State Senator Catherine Pugh and United States Congressman Elijah Cummings who all spoke about bringing back unity to the city of Baltimore following the April unrest.
It was a fun filled day by all who attended, both exhibitors and patrons alike. The mall was filled with shoppers who were delighted to see such an event in their community. There was music and food for all who attended. The number of exhibitors exceeded 100 and included groups of community and public services; employment and education services; health and healing services; housing, financial and legal services; and youth and family services.
As people left the mall you could hear them say this was a great day for the city of Baltimore, and this certainly helped to bring everyone together.
This year marks the 20th that 1st Mariner Bank has been in business as Baltimore's community bank. As our way of saying thank you to the Baltimore community for helping us reach this milestone, we decided to give back. To kick things off, we've teamed up with WBFF-Fox45 to perform Random Acts of Kindness to members of our community. The first random act took place on Monday, June 22nd at the 6340 York Road Giant Food Store. Click on the video below to check it out!
The next random act of kindness will take place on Monday, June 29th at the 1400 Merritt Blvd, Dundalk Giant. We also have a number of other surprises that will take place throughout the rest of the year. Stay tuned for more details!