Identity thieves are now taking advantage of information publicly posted to social networks to make it easier to steal social security numbers.
According to a recent study, an estimated 10 million Americans publish their birthdays in online profiles or provide enough information for their birthdays to be inferred. Depending on the state, the accuracy in which SSNs can be guessed based on the date and place of birth in 100 attempts varies from .08% to over 10%. Combined with a computer program that can guess over and over, researchers were able to guess correctly up to 60% of the time.
A person’s name, date of birth and SSN is typically enough for an identity thief to impersonate a person for various kinds of fraud.
As always, proceed with caution before posting any type of personal data in an online profile.
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