Social media use is like beer: A little is great, but too much and you're saying things you probably shouldn't and alienating friends. As with most things, moderation is the key, and now there's a new reason to watch how much you share on sites like Twitter and Facebook: Careless use can increase your chance of having your identity stolen.
The New York Times reports that a new study shows that the identity theft rate for those who now have public Facebook profiles — pages that show personal information, like birthdays — in 2011 was 7.5 percent. The national rate? Only five percent. Even worse, the identity theft rate among Facebook users who accept friend requests from people they don’t know was almost nine percent. This is bad news because a lot of websites ask for personal information as a way to verify your identity.
A Facebook spokesperson disputed the study and added that most people know that if you’re tweeting your dog’s name, it should not be used as a password as well. But is that true? Do people think of that? We doubt it, so consider this your warning. If your Facebook profile isn’t private you should make it so and try to refrain from sharing anything personal on Twitter. Less is always more.