Social Media – It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Steals Your Identity

Millions of people are reconnecting with old school friends and keeping up with current friends on various social media networks such as Facebook and MySpace. It’s a fun and easy way to upload pictures for your friends and followers to see, or send a quick update on what you’re doing right at this moment. It all seems harmless until you realize that almost 10 million Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2008, which is over a 20 percent increase since 2007. With over 250 million personal data records breached since 2005, millions of people have been exposed to the ill effects that being a victim of identity theft can quickly have–all because personal information got into the wrong hands.
This is the bad news.

The good news is that there are ways you can still enjoy being a social media maven AND protect your privacy to avoid becoming an identity theft victim.

The Best Ways to Secure Your Identity from Stealers

There are several privacy options available to help protect your information from getting into the wrong hands. You should always avoid sharing personal contact information. Parents always warn us, “Don’t write down what you don’t want others to read.” This includes an address, birth date, social security number, etc.

· Categorize your friends. You can create groups to categorize your friends. This allows you to share certain updates with certain groups rather than anyone and everyone that lands on your page or is one of your “friends.”

· Be unsearchable. There are privacy settings such as “Friends Only” or “Network and Friends Only” that makes it possible for only your friends to view your page.

· De-Google. Social media sites are very search engine friendly, which means your information is ranked by the search engines. Uncheck the option to be indexed by the search engines in your privacy settings as added security.

· Don’t forget your albums. Even if you set your photos to be private, your albums may still be open to the public. So, don’t forget to set the privacy option on your albums too.

· Keep relationships private. There are two options here. You can control who sees basic information such as your relationship status or remove the newsfeed on items like this to avoid it being blasted out to your friends. Some sites allow you to share who you’re in a relationship with, which can put you and your partner at an even greater risk to identity theft.

· Visit wisely. These sites have thousands of applications users can use and visit. When you use these applications, it automatically updates your status on your page. Harmless: “Tim is playing Word Challenge.” Harmful: “Tim is having sex,” which occurs when you visit a certain section of Facebook that will go unnamed here.

· Privatize contact information. Private contact information should only be visible to people you trust. Organizing your contact lists to control whom sees this information adds further protection.

· Control friends’ actions. To avoid embarrassing, defaming, or personal information from being listed on your page, visit the profile page of the site and choose who can post on your page, or avoid allowing updates to show publicly at all.

· Make friends private. Exposing your friends can expose you too. Make your friendships private to have better control over who can access your personal information, which can help to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

· Don’t show your age. Thieves can track you with your birth date and year of birth. Keep your date public so your friends can express their best wishes but don’t post your year of birth.

Social media is fun and exciting. It allows you to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. It can also make you vulnerable to identity thieves, which takes all of the fun and games out of your social media networking. Practice safe social media by implementing these ten tips and continue to enjoy the benefits of this online phenomenon.

About:
Identity Finder, LLC was founded in 2001 by innovative security experts. The company has quickly grown to become a leader in identity theft prevention by helping millions of consumers, small businesses, and enterprises in over fifty countries.

Identity Finder searches and secures personal information. Using the company’s proprietary AnyFind technology, Identity Finder intelligently locates social security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive data inside documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, web browsers, and other system areas. Beyond identification, our technology helps securely shred or encrypt information. Install Identity Finder today to stay steps ahead of the criminals.

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Trick Or Treating – It’s All Fun And Games

People will tell you that life is not all about fun and games, but at times, this is not true. You see, when Halloween comes around, it is time for fun and games. This is the one time where kids can get together with their parents and go trick or treating. Trick or treating is when kids go from door to door saying “Trick or treat” and receive candy in their bags. There are so many fun things about this holiday – October 31, yet you cannot forget the safety rules.

First of all, when you are dressing up your child for Halloween night, it is important that you think about them being visible in the night. They make special things that you can put on your child that light up in the dark. This way, if you are walking down the road, people will know they are there. For another safety tip, if you have a toddler, you should make sure you hold their hands. You should never trust them to stay next to you, because within a blink of an eye, they can disappear.

Now that we have gone over the safety rules, it is time for the fun and games. Do you know what the best thing about Halloween, besides getting all that candy for free is? The best part would be the costume.

On Halloween, you can dress up as your inner being. This could be a mage, witch, warlock, vampire, clown, skeleton, your idol, the president or anything else you can think of. This is the one night where you can wear whatever you want, be whoever you want to be and do not have to worry about people making fun of you.

When it comes to choosing a Halloween costume, there are many different options to choose from. If you are trying to save money, then you should surf around the net and see what they have to offer.

Generally, online, you can find costumes at a discount price. Another way to get a cheap costume would be to look in thrift shops in your local area. Usually, people give last years costume to thrift shops for under five dollars.

Tips for Success in Online Learning

As the education sector comes to terms with increasing technological intrusion and changing reality of learning modes, online learning is fast catching up as a preferred medium for kids ‘education. As per the statistics in 2011, 40 states in USA have either virtual schools or some form of state-led online initiative. The technological influx has made education boundary less. A student sitting in Hong Kong can take classes in California without any glitch since free worksheets, education articles and every other imaginable information regarding any subject is available online. The growing fame of online learning in kids’ education is indicated in the online enrollments stats of 2011, which state that nearly 2,50,000 students enrolled full-time in online schools in 2010-2011.The easy availability of learning information such as free worksheets, education articles, easy to download presentations, etc has made online learning a hit among students as well as professionals. Missed course credits can be recovered via online learning but how to be a top scorer in a virtual classroom requires a little bit of planning and preparation. Here are some tips to help e-learning students be better in their learning:Create a regular learning schedule – Online classrooms provides a private space of learning and maximum advantage can be taken of this by having a routine study plan. Have a calendar planner to help you keep track of test and assignment submission dates. Ensure that you take a look at the planner once each day so that your dates and study plan do not skip from your mind. Try and have a dedicated study place with everything you need so that your concentration is at fullest when you are studying. Having a specific study place brings in the much-needed peace for learning and accords importance to what you are doing.Be interactive and engaged – When studying online it is important to be at your interactive best. Participate in conversations and group discussions and engage others as well by sharing, exchanging your ideas, perspectives and comments. Your information and learning source is not restricted to your instructor only. Besides all the free worksheets and education articles, it is interaction with your colleagues and peers that helps you learn even more.Know the online learning management system – Before taking up the course online, make yourself fully aware about online learning ways. This means read the “how to manuals” of working on online learning management software and/or tools.Conferencing your way through learning – Online learning is a break from the traditional and conventional way of studying. Contrary to the dominant physical presence of teachers and classmates, online learning entails just you and your machine. This can leave you feeling a bit isolated which can harm your studying, learning capacity. So to avoid feeling cut-off, participating in online conferences related to your course is a great way to learn and meet other students. It helps you in connecting with different experts of course subjects as well as with students from the same course.If you have a problem, you have to talk about it – One great thing about the online format of learning is how it puts people socially at ease and opens them up. Being online, you can and should put forth your problem without any hesitation. If there is something that you are unable to grasp, then be vocal about it. Post your problem on the discussion forum, email it to your instructor and the responses will start pouring in instantly.Following these tips eases your climb to the success hill and helps you learn better in the process. To get more tips and more knowledge about e-learning check out sites such as Educationtiger.com