According to a 2009 Facebook ID Probe from Sophos UK that was conducted to see how easily users of social networks give out personal data that could lead to identity theft, more than 40 percent of those in the probe accepted an invitation to be friends with two fictitious users.
Sophos created two female Australian Facebook users – Daisy Feletin (21 and single) and Dinette Stonily (56 and married) – and each sent friend requests to 100 randomly-selected contacts in their age group and then waited to see who would respond.
The findings show Facebook users are more susceptible to identity theft than ever, as over 40 percent of both age groups blindly accepted Facebook “friend requests,” and the younger users were more trusting than older users, 46 percent to 41 percent.
More troubling for the 20-something crowd, 100 percent of them shared email addresses, 89 percent revealed full dates of birth, 74 percent gave college or workplace information, and 50 percent shared home towns – key information that makes identity theft easier to commit.
To avoid identity theft and other online scams, social networking users are advised to not accept friends blindly, learn the privacy settings of social networking sites they join, and assume information revealed on social networking sites will be on the Internet forever.
MyBackgroundCheck.com – a leading provider of consumer requested and applicant supplied “personal” background checks – allows individuals to keep personal information current, accurate, and safe from identity theft. To learn how personal background checks help prevent identity theft, visit www.mybackgroundcheck.com, email email@example.com, or call 1-800-503-2364. Follow MyBackgroundCheck.com on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MyBackgroundChk.