Tips for young adults to prevent online fraud

Some technology experts are concerned that young people’s sharing can go too far, putting their security at risk.

Sharing pictures and information online through social networks has become a normal way of life for tech-savvy millennials. Unfortunately, some technology experts are concerned that young people’s sharing can go too far, putting their security at risk.

A recent survey by Visa Canada found that young Canadians, aged 18-30, were the most likely age group to overshare personal information on social networking sites, including posting their home addresses, birth dates and phone numbers online – information that could potentially be used to carry out identity theft and other scams.

What’s more, it appears this willingness to share extends into the offline world. The same survey also found that young adults are most likely to share their PIN and lend their credit or debit card to others.

“Young adults need to better understand the risks associated with oversharing personal and financial data,” says Gord Jamieson, the head of security at Visa Canada.

Jamieson recommends young people, and all Canadians, remember these five security tips before posting online:

1. Personal information is just that – personal. Don’t post information such as payment card information or SIN in a public forum or on a social networking site.

2. Pay close attention to what you share on social networking sites; even seemingly innocuous information such as your mother’s maiden name or your high school mascot can help a thief gain access to your accounts.

3. Familiarize yourself with your social network’s privacy settings to help control who can see your information.

4. Create strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. Using different passwords will limit any damage if one password is compromised.

5. Be suspicious of any requests for your personal or payment information no matter how convincing the communication or phone call you received may be. Scammers may use tactics like phishing and social engineering to trick consumers into divulging personal or payment information.

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