Warning from FBI about dangers of posting personal information on social media

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat, YouTube or any other platform where personal information is shared, can become dangerous.

If you go to your Facebook page take a look at the personal information you have shared like your birthday, age, phone number, your favorite bands, foods and activities. This is all information that someone could use to try and get close to you.

“A stranger may send a friend request that may sit idle for a while and study behaviors for this individual and may craft out an attack or a message once they’ve learned who their favorite musician is their hobbies and trick them into doing other things,” said Tomas Armendariz a Computer Scientist for the FBI.

The El Paso Federal Bureau of Investigation says you should never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. Even if you have friends in common. They also suggest keeping all social media accounts private so only the people you know can view your information.

For platforms like Instagram where many have their pages public and gain hundreds of thousands of followers, the FBI says that’s okay but to be cautious. That’s because predators can track exactly where a photo was taken or where you go often.

“You can post whatever your doing to get more followers, but once it becomes dangerous is once someone can track you to your place of employment or to you home,” said Alex Bustillos an FBI Special Agent.

However, your personal information could already be on the internet. The way to find that out is to use websites like mylife.com or whitepages.com.

“There’s a lot of websites that do have your information on them already, hence to you applying for credit somewhere, a mortgage loan, for an auto loan or filling out an application for higher education,” said Bustillos.

The El Paso FBI says even if your information is already on the internet you can protect yourself by not posting more on social media. That makes it harder for someone to target you.

October is cyber awareness month and the El Paso FBI want to remind everyone that people can lie about who they are on the internet so to always be aware of who your sharing information with.

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