Identity Theft On Facebook & Social Networking Websites

Information verified correct on October 26th, 2016

Identity theft on Facebook

Experts in the field on identity theft are meeting at a symposium in the Gold Coast to talk about ways to cut back on the instances of identity theft that is quickly becoming a worldwide problem. There needs to be a crackdown on Facebook identity theft and identity fraud in general on an international basis.

Millions of people are using Facebook and other social networking websites without thinking twice about releasing their personal details. Thieves can randomly join one of these websites and track down information on people’s birth dates, family details, where they work and other personal information. This is like a gold mine for anyone that wants to get involved in identity theft.

There are even programs being developed so that stealing this type of information is faster and easier. This data is getting stored into huge databases and this is being warehoused for future use. People are literally feeding criminals information that can be use detrimentally. Awareness of this issue needs to be broadcast on a wider scale so that information given out on social sites is limited.

Experts from various different countries including the United States, the Netherlands and Romania will gather at this symposium to discuss different options available. Approximately $3 billion per year is lost in Australia due to identity theft, and there are ways to lower this amount if systems are put in place to combat the problem.

This figure may not even be an accurate representation of the actual amount of money that has been lost. According to Brian Hay, Detective Superintendent of the Queensland Fraud and Corporate Crime Group, many people will not report this type of crime due to embarrassment. After all, who wants to admit that they freely displayed their information on a social networking site and then had to pay the consequences?

Shocking Figures

When you work out the numbers, $3 million represents about $14 for every individual that lives in Australia. This is a growing concern for not only Australians but for any people worldwide that are part of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or any other social media site. The numbers are not only getting out of control in Australia. This is a global issue that is reaching epidemic proportions.

Identity theft is on the rise globally and this symposium may help cut back the numbers as solutions are put on the table and different options are explored. As the awareness level on this topic is heightened, more people will limit how much personal information they are willing to submit to the social sites, and Facebook in particular.

How can you protect yourself?

There are numerous ways you can protect yourself from identity thieves on Facebook and other social networking sites. These include:

  • Adjust your Facebook privacy settings so you’re protected. You can adjust settings so only those you’re friends with can read your post, which reduces the chance that a thief will encounter your information, for example.
  • Preview your page regularly. Facebook gives you the ability to view your profile just as someone from the public would view it. This is useful for helping you see what personal details you may be accidentally allow others to see.
  • Set those who you don’t want looking at all of your profile information as ‘acquaintances’. This limits the amount of your profile they can see.
  • Be careful about who you let become your friend. Ensure that you carefully decide who to accept and don’t accept anyone you don’t know, or who looks suspicious.
  • Use an identity monitoring service such as Secure Sentinel. This will pay you a benefit to cover the costs of restoring your identity if it’s stolen, and also monitors black market websites to see if criminals are trading your personal information.
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

Ask a question