Facebook, Is your Information private? - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Facebook, Is your Information private?

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Most people are on Facebook, or they are thinking about signing up. Regardless of your status, we have a warning about protecting your privacy while on the social media site. If you're not careful, crooks can steal your identity.

Your Facebook profile can be someone's portal into your private life. Donna Calabrese found that out the hard way.

"I found out someone used my social security to file their taxes," she said. That "someone" changed Donna's address on her debit card, ordered a new card, then cleaned out her checking account, all by using information straight from her Facebook profile.

"It's really scary," she said. "They know my name, mother's name, my father's name, my address, where I grew up, my social security number...everything!"

"People can actually take some of that information and find your social security number. People have expertise now in doing that," Tech Expert Leena Rao with Tech Crunch said. 

To prevent this from happening to you, you may not want to list your birthday, where you were born or the city you currently live in. Also, make sure you take advantage of Facebook's privacy settings so strangers won't have access to your private information and it when comes to friends, never accept request from people you don't know.

"I think people don't realize some of the basic information where you live or your date of birth are actually ways identity thieves can steal your personal information," Rao said.

Calabrese locked up her Facebook profile and is a lot more cautious.

"I'm just much more cautious. I don't want anyone to know any more details about me," Calabrese said. She hopes her story is a reminder that if you're are on Facebook, what happened to her can happen to you.

For more safety tips, click the links below:

http://www.facebook.com/safety/#!/safety/groups/parents/

http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2011/04/19/6496604-facebook-upgrades-safety-and-security-tools-

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