On July 22, 2007, Sky News reported:
"People who use internet networking sites could be putting themselves at risk of becoming victims of identity theft, a credit information group is warning. Equifax said people who were members of sites such as MySpace, Bebo, Facebook and Friends Reunited may be putting too many personal details about themselves online. Neil Munroe, external affairs director for Equifax, said: 'Fraudsters are taking advantage of the new craze for social networking.' "
Thanks Equifax for the warning. Yes, it is appropriate to warn people not to give out too much personal data at any site, not just online social networking sites. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has a web page dedicated to identity theft and social networking sites with safety tips for teens and tweens. I think that it is rather arrogant for a national credit bureau to give this warning when there are so many issues with credit bureaus and their credit reports (e.g., re-aging, errors, privacy, etc.). Plus, the weak Fraud Alert tool doesn't provide consumers with the protections needed. And, the national credit bureaus oppose beneficial state legislation like the Credit Freeze tool which provides consumers with stronger protections.
My message to the credit bureaus: clean up your act first, before you focus on somebody else's issues.
Regarding the social networking sites, I am very selective about the ones I use. In fact, I only use LinkedIn for networking among business colleagues.
Next entry: New ID Theft Law in Minnesota