Security Alert: Stop sharing so much personal information
You're being targeted by clever criminals who hope to trick you into giving them the information they want.
It doesn't matter how good your security software is, if you voluntarily give your password or account number to a crook who is posing as someone you trust.
It’s called social engineering and here's how they do it.
Fraudsters gather all the personal information you publicly share online via your social media accounts. This lets them learn all about you and enables them to conduct a successful attack on you.
"Most people are putting themselves at risk by over-sharing information, whether it be personally identifiable information, descriptive data, that's the data that's being used and collected to develop targeted and premeditated attacks,” said Lewis Howell, founder and CEO of the digital security company Hueya based in Bend, Oregon.
Howell says your personal information, such as birthdays and anniversaries, things you like to do, the names of your kids and pets, and relationship data – should only be available to a select group of vetted friends.
"We find that just about anything that's timely, accurate and relevant, that's the data that's being used today to commit a whole host of crimes, from identity theft to fraud,” Howell told me.
One more tip: Beware of friend requests. That friend you don't recognize, could be a scammer trying to harvest your personal information.