Get ahead of the crowd with Premium
Register Forgot password

More ways criminals can use your social media profiles

Jasmine Birtles 2nd Mar 2012 No Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As you know, I have a Twitter account (@Jasmine) and so does Moneymagpie (@Moneymagpie) and of course we have a Facebook page. But we’re all getting more and more concerned about the dodgy goings-on in the various social media platforms.

I’m talking about the proliferation of bogus accounts trying to connect with us, get us to click on their nasty links and tell them where we will be at any time of the day. We really have to be a LOT more vigilant online and even close down accounts if it gets too worrying.

New research from Legal & General has found that burglars are exploiting our over-trusting attitude online and are creating networks of fake profiles to engineer a set of mutual friends, to target individuals and their homes. The connection enables the criminal to uncover a wealth of personal information about the social media user and their whereabouts, making them and their homes an easier target for burglary.

·         Over nine out of ten Brits, (91%) using social media have been asked to connect online with someone they have never met

·         Over half (51%) have accepted these requests

·         Over half of social media users (56%) discuss event, evening or holiday plans ‘wall to wall’ on Facebook

This means that it’s far too easy for criminals to use your information and steal from you.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of those who have connected with people they don’t know have done so because they had a mutual friend in common. A third (34%) accepted strangers because they were members of the same group, and over one in ten (11%) assumed they must know them somehow, and it would be rude not to accept.

I regularly ‘prune’ my social contacts to take out those people I don’t actually know and I’ve recently closed down my personal Facebook account. It’s just too annoying!

Also, when I go away I either swap my home or have a friend or relation staying in my place while I’m away. I don’t mind people knowing I’m away if my home is still occupied.

If your home will be empty when you’re away, though, wait until you’re back to post those lovely pics.

Oh, and don’t get into ‘Facebragging’ (pretending you’re more interesting and doing more exciting things than you really are).

Over half of social media users (56%) now discuss event, evening or holiday plans ‘wall to wall’ on Facebook or on Twitter, compared to 45% in 2009.  Almost a third (29%) only update their status or tweet when they want to brag to their friends they’re doing an activity, rising to 43% of 18 to 24 year olds. Aargh!

It’s not worth it! Keep it to yourself and stay safe.

I’d like to know that you, my lovely reader, are having SO much of an interesting life that you just don’t have time to post about it. That’s the thing to aim at. Go get it!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

Send this to a friend