4.24.2012

American Awareness -- Too Much Info

HubSpot Leads Automatically Get Social Media I...
HubSpot Leads Automatically Get Social Media Info and Photo Added to Them (Photo credit: HubSpot)

  I remember the days if I needed information about practically anything I would run down to the local library and check out a book on the topic and gleam the info I needed for a particular report or just for my own knowledge and then return the book when I was done.  It seemed the only way to get the information back then.  It took a lot of time and effort to get the information in those days. Not so in today’s world.  Today we have information at our fingertips and that information is widely available and continues to grow steadily at break neck speed.   Of course now I am talking about the Information Super Highway, the Internet.   Gathering information on practically any topic is fast, readily available and can be done in a few clicks of a mouse, not like old days checking a book out and having to return it.  It is all right there on your computer screen in front of you and in the privacy of your own home.



Social Media Team logo
Social Media Team logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
            We can find information on all sorts of topics regarding people, places, and things from a host of sources.  This availability of information and the ability to research and access it quickly has revolutionized the way we assimilate that information.  Many of us use that information to help us in school, work, learn about world events, keeping up with our communities through online news sources and even our ability to keep up with each other!  Buying things online like books, stereos, DVD’s, shoes, and Easter baskets is so simple these days and so is keeping up with your family and friends using social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Google Plus.  So, not only can we keep up each other and with the rest of the world affairs online, but we can even have our groceries then delivered if we wanted.  There is a ton of information to be gained and a ton of information to be had if it were in the wrong hands.

            As you can see, the availability of information seems endless, so if your personal, private information.  How could this be you ask, it’s simple.  In order to buy stuff online, the businesses need your name, address, phone number, credit card information.  Those businesses you buy online products from are not the only sources of your personal information either.  If you have a bank account, any line of credit, car loan, personal loan or even pay income tax, your personal information is there and can be had by hackers, thief’s, and crooks of all kinds.  So of us make it so easy for these people too!  In our social media connections, some of us post our daily activities, vacations, and other personal affairs so our family and friends know what’s happening in our lives.  Some of us post our address, pictures, our names, our family and friend’s names and their social media connections.  On and on it goes, the information is abundant and in a lot of cases and we don’t even realize how much we are putting out there for others to read and who is looking at all that stuff.

            Organized crime can take a little information from here and there about us and put it together.  Once they can enough of that private information they can go to work opening credit accounts, charging your credit cards, paying for new cars, and impersonating you, and that’s just the beginning of the fraud and nightmare!  Often times it may take months before the damage is detected and then it takes a long time and money to repair what damage may have been made.  One way to protect ourselves against these crooks and organized crime gangs is to minimize what we say about ourselves in our social media portals.  An example is not to post that you will be gone for the next two weeks on vacation, but rather keep that information to a phone call to your family or friends and then if you want, post some pictures when you return.  This is not only a good idea but a smart one when you think about who may be looking in on your social media sight.
Graph of social media activities
Graph of social media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
            Another way to detect and combat against fraud and identity theft is by checking your credit report at least once a year through a safe and secure website called AnnualCreditReport.com.    You can get a copy of all three of your credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian free of charge.  By checking all three credit reporting companies you will be able to see if anything looks suspicious on your credit report.  If you see anything suspicious, you will be able to inform the credit reporting agency right away by filing a despite, which is simple to do.  The credit reporting agency will then have 30 days to correct your credit report if there was an error.

            We really have come a long way from walking to our local library to look up information for a school report on the state of Wyoming that would take a couple days out of our lives to where we can simply type Wyoming in a search engine and have the information pop up in a few seconds.  We can all benefit from this wonderful tool of technology with information on just about any topic.  Just remember to ask yourself this question when posting online, am I sharing "Too Much Info”

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