Visa publishes consumer oversharing data in time for National Cyber Security Awareness Month
A new national survey published by Visa today found that American consumers are sharing some of their most sensitive personal information on social networks.
More than 58 percent of consumers surveyed admitted to sharing personal details over social media that could put them at risk for fraud and identity theft.
Here are some of the topline results of that survey:
- 7 percent of consumers admitted to having shared their social security number over social media.
- 20 percent of respondents provided their home address on social media.
- 15 percent of overall respondents placed themselves at risk for burglary by providing their upcoming travel dates.
- Consumers also posted additional pieces of information that, taken in conjunction, could be used to target an online account:
- Close to half of respondents shared their birthdate.
- 29 percent of respondents shared their phone number.
- 14 percent shared their mother’s maiden name.
There are certain pieces of information, including you social security number, full birthdate, payment card information or banking information that should never be shared on social media. Other information, like your full name, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, phone number, physical and email address may seem harmless, but can give criminals enough clues to answer security questions and break into your financial or online accounts.
Social media platforms are making it easier to share than ever before. It’s encouraged and even rewarded with more views, more clicks, and more followers. But with it also comes more risk.
New technologies can be built to the highest security standards, but consumers can also take steps to make sure they are not the weakest link:
- Think twice before posting information publicly.
- Monitor your financial accounts regularly, and report any suspicious activity immediately to your bank.
- If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft, contact one of the three national credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion – to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The FTC also has a toolkit with immediate steps to repair identity theft.
*The survey results are based on 1,000 telephone interviews conducted nationally from August 16 – 18, 2013 in cooperation with GfK Roper’s Omnibus Service OmniTel. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points.
Posted by: Jennifer Fischer, Head of Americas Payment System Security on October 2, 2013 at 5:00 am