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‘Checking in’ with Social Media: Are you secure?

RCMP Release:
March 24, 2011, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), Nova Scotia… How
safe are you when posting updates to social media sites? Are you safe
from fraud when ‘checking in’ to a location while using a mobile
application? The Nova Scotia RCMP want to remind internet users that the
possibility of fraud can occur at the click of a button.

Social media identity fraud is the process of faking or using someone
else’s information on the internet for foul means. As an example, most
people provide their full birth date on a social networking site, this
is just some of the information that a potential fraudster can use to
steal your identity. RCMP Sgt. Tom Murdock, of the Nova Scotia
Commercial Crime Section points out, “Social media is becoming one the
newest tools to commit identity theft. This occurs when someone hacks an
online profile and then poses to be that person in real life. The
consequences are tremendous and you may not even know that it’s
happening to you.”

To avoid becoming a victim of social media identity fraud, avoid
posting this information online:Birth date, home address, telephone
number(s), or email addresses Children’s names or schools Employment
details like work schedule and specific details of when you’ll be
absent from home on business trips or vacations

The RCMP would like to give the public some useful tips to keep safe
when interacting through social media:Do not accept “friend
requests” from unknown people. Be aware when posting pictures of
your home or valuables. This can provide a criminal with the location of
doors and windows. Use different passwords for each online profile,
including social media, banking, and email accounts. Remember to mix
upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols when creating a
password.  Don’t be fooled by names and photographs asserting to be
public figures or celebrities. Many of these are hackers faking
accounts. Never post when your home will be vacant. If you find someone
who is guilty of creating a fraudulent social media profile, immediately
report them to the Terms of Service group on the social media website.
If you feel your social media account has been compromised, delete it
and report it; another account can be created to replace it later.

Sgt. Murdock wants to remind the province of Nova Scotia, “Use your
discretion when using social media, it’s in your control to know the
strength of your privacy settings.”
Throughout the month of March, Nova Scotia RCMP will be highlighting
tips and information to help reduce your chances of being victimized by
fraud and keep you safe from scammers. Topics covered will include
identity theft, phishing, on-line shopping, social networking and credit
and debit card fraud. Recognize it, Report it, Stop it!

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