The recent Facebook data breach—in which hackers gained access to and publicly posted personal information from 533 million users worldwide—may not have exposed users' financial information directly. But hackers gaining access to personal information could potentially be worse.
Think of it this way: if someone steals your physical credit card and swipes it somewhere, there's a chance that your credit card issuer will reach out to ask if you really made the purchase. And if they don't, you can always dispute the charge and get a new credit card with a new 16-digit number you won't be able to remember and another three-digit CSV that you'll inevitably plug in wrong when you're eagerly booking your first flight in two years to (gasp) go on vacation.
It's a slight headache, but relatively easy to resolve. If someone gets access to your full name, phone number, and date of birth—personal info that is permanent or requires more than a simple phone call or email request to change—that can open the floodgates for hackers to do some serious damage.
Nowadays, to log into your financial accounts, you may need to answer security questions like... What was the name of your first pet? What's the make and model of your first car? What street did you live on in third grade? What prison is your best friend from elementary school in after storming the Capitol? (OK, we made up that last one to make sure you're paying attention, but you get the picture).
While you probably aren't detailing that information in an obvious manner on your Facebook profile, some of it can be deduced from photos or found in a deeper dive with the information that hackers have already gained access to for free.
The more financial institutions that you're logging into on a regular basis, the more opportunities hackers will have to sneak through. While protecting yourself from identity theft might not be a primary reason to consolidate your debt, you can file it under the "pros" when you're asking yourself whether debt consolidation is a good idea for you. Consolidating means fewer payments every month, meaning fewer accounts to sign in to.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—except when someone impersonates you to try to steal money from Grandma. (Pretty sure that's the saying.)
If a hacker gains accurate and detailed personal information from you, it can make it that much easier for them to pose as you in a believable way to scam friends and family members. Whether they create a duplicate profile or similar email address, they may be able to prey on people you're close to, especially if those folks aren't all that tech savvy.
Alternatively, scammers also could pretend to be calling from one of your financial institutions and provide enough of your legitimate personal info that you get fooled into giving out other details.
I guess we should all take Gen Z's cue and get off Facebook, if not to avoid political posts then at least to protect our data.
Press Release Service by Newswire.com
Original Source: How Can Facebook's Data Breach Lead to Financial Fraud?