Social networking and identity fraud

I have recently been exploring the world of social networking through Facebook, one of the larger social networking sites on the Internet.

Apart from finding out that I know a lot more people than I originally envisaged, it was rather interesting to see how much information people reveal themselves on social networking sites. Often you will find a person's full name, birthday (including year), home town, e-mail and phone numbers.

That's almost enough information to enable a malicious person to commit identity fraud.

One could argue that one could (and should) restrict access to this information to the person's friends. But I wonder whether people actually check the visibility of their profiles, or consider this risk when deciding whether to accept a third party as a friend.

Food for thought. (Yes, I work in risk management.)

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