|(Image credit: My Voucher Codes)|
Every week, I meet my nan for a coffee and a catch up. And almost every week, without fail, she tells me of some new scam she's heard about. Either on the TV, where she's watched something about an old lady who has been tricked out of all of her savings, or she herself might have received an email from a South African prince, or taken a phone call from someone assuring her they can fix her computer which has stopped working.
Every week, I think how good it is that she doesn't fall for these things (she's finally started telling callers that she doesn't have a computer, or using the spam button for her email, but it did get me wondering how many other vulnerable people are out there and at risk of falling into these traps.
After a little research, one thing I've realised is that it's not just the older generation who are at risk of identity theft online. According to research done by My Voucher Codes, it sounds as though the younger generation, despite being considered the tech-savvy ones, are just as likely to have their online content stolen.
Actually, I guess that makes sense when you think about it. With the rise in popularity of blogging and social media over the past few years, some people are even making a career of it and more and more people are sharing more information online about themselves and their lives. With the general consensus amongst readers that they prefer to be able to relate to the person they are reading about, and that they want to read about "real life" as opposed to being fed a picture of perfection (this is something which I hear time and again about bloggers), it's easy to see why writers of blogs are eager to present a slice of their real life.
But, does this come at a cost? With the selfie-generation sharing more and more intimate details about their lives on their blogs and social profiles, surely they are just making it easier for those with an ulterior motive to capture details about them. In some instances, it looks as though these details have been used to apply for things in the blogger's name, or to create fake profiles across social media sites using their photos and information. Just because this is all happening online, it's still real life and it's still classed as fraud, but I guess it's something which it's important to be aware of.
I've always been quite careful to avoid posting *too much* information. Obviously, I like to share certain things on my blog, but there are areas of my life which are off limits, partly because I don't like the idea of posting anything which affects anyone else and partly because some of those things just aren't relevant or appropriate. I've also always been one of those people who doesn't turn on location settings - I've never really understood that 'checking in' thing.
How do you decide how much to share online? If you'd like to read the article I found, it's here on TechLounge.