Trending February 2024 # How To Buy Cryptocurrencies Without Verifying Your Identity # Suggested March 2024 # Top 10 Popular

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Cryptocurrency is getting more user-friendly, more accessible, and also much more regulated. This makes it a lot less “wild west” but also means it’s a bit harder to get started in crypto without going through the laborious KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements most exchanges have now been forced into adopting. Luckily, there are still ways to make peer-to-peer crypto purchases. If you’re just looking to remain anonymous (in the true spirit of crypto), you may want to check out these exchanges.

LocalCryptos: peer-to-peer marketplace

As of April 2023, LocalCryptos (formerly LocalEthereum) may be the premier peer-to-peer crypto-fiat marketplace with no KYC requirements. In short, LocalCryptos lets you buy cryptocurrency with national currencies without asking for any form of ID.

Here’s how it works:

Sign up.

Enter a few basic pieces of information (nothing identifiable required).

Find an offer in your preferred currency using a payment method you can access (PayPal, CashApp, Wise, Zelle, etc.).

Start a transaction with the seller.

Wait for them to put funds in escrow.

Send the payment.

Get your crypto paid out to your wallet once the seller confirms.

The site is well-designed, the system is fairly good at keeping scams to a minimum, and you can typically find prices that are fairly close to the market. You can chat with the sellers over their encrypted messaging system so you can ask questions and feel out how reliable they may be.

Be aware that some sellers may ask you for ID to be sent over the encrypted messaging system before they fund the escrow. That’s not necessarily a problem – they may just check it and delete it – but that’s a call you will have to make. Even a seller with a good reputation may be selling IDs on the side, after all.

Bisq: decentralized exchange

If LocalCryptos isn’t decentralized enough for you, you may prefer Bisq (formerly BitSquare). This is a fully-automated, decentralized, open-source piece of software run using a Tor peer-to-peer network and governed by a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization).

It has built-in anti-scam and dispute resolution methods, including security deposits, account signing, trade limits that increase over time, multi-signature addresses, and arbitrators/mediators that get paid to resolve disputes from the security deposits paid by the party found to be in the wrong.

The system works quite reliably and well, and the safety mechanisms keep it relatively scam-free. It will require a certain level of comfort with crypto and tech to use, since you have to download software and go through a few steps, but if you’re interested in buying cryptocurrency through a decentralized exchange, chances are that you mostly fulfill those prerequisites.

Here’s how to get started and make your first transaction:

Download the software (available for most desktop OSes).

Connect a national/fiat currency account (Zelle, Revolut, SEPA, bank transfer, Uphold, AliPay, Moneygram, face to face, etc.).

Fund your Bisq wallet with Bitcoin (minimum of .006 to buy .001 BTC, which will be your initial trade limit).

Find an offer to buy BTC at the quantity and price you want.

Send the listed security deposit and transaction fees to the trade wallet where they’ll be held in escrow until the trade is complete. (You get them back if there aren’t any problems.)

Confirm the trade, send the payment before the time limit runs out, and mark the payment as sent.

When the seller receives your payment, they’ll release the Bitcoin and your security deposit.

The biggest issues you’ll face with Bisq are the relatively-high prices and the limits you’ll initially have on your account. Due to the increased risk, sellers often mark up the market prices by up to 20 percent and find sellers who will sell you the .01 Bitcoin you need to get your account signed and marked as reliable. It can be difficult, especially if you want to pay a reasonable price. You can make your own buyer listing, though, listing the price and quantity of your choice and seeing if a seller bites.

Wall of Coins: bank cash deposit

Wall of Coins is only available in the U.S, though there are other businesses in other countries operating along the same lines. It’s probably the simplest way to buy Bitcoins, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other cryptos with minimal KYC (see the note below), though it does entail physically going to a bank and making a cash deposit.

Here’s how it works:

Sign up with your phone number (not really KYC, since you can get anonymous phone numbers).

Give the service your location so it can find nearby banks.

Enter the amount of crypto you want to buy.

Press the Order button next to the bank location you want to use for your payment.

Confirm the code you receive on your phone.

Follow the instructions you’re sent and make a cash deposit for the correct amount at the bank branch you specified.

Optionally, email a picture of your receipt to the site to make it go faster.

Wall of Coins will verify your payment and send your coins.

Wall of Coins isn’t as directly P2P as the other options listed, but it’s certainly easier if you’re not confident that your tech skills are up to the job. The rates tend to be above market, as is normal with these systems, but you can typically find at least a few good deals, especially if you’re willing to sort through altcoins.

As for the “minimal KYC,” Wall of Coins can’t accurately be listed as a KYC-free exchange, since there are a few reports that large transactions (starting in the low thousands) have been flagged and required ID to clear, and the existence of at least some form of KYC has been confirmed by the company’s representatives. Buying and selling a few hundred dollars of crypto at a time will probably be fine, but keep in mind that large transactions will look suspicious.

Bitcoin ATMs

If you live near a major population center, you probably have a Bitcoin ATM somewhere nearby. These are even more straightforward than Wall of Coins, since you just go to them, follow the instructions on the screen, insert cash, and get your Bitcoin (or other crypto). No ID, no wait, just Bitcoins from a machine. These tend to come with a sizeable fee, though. I’ve seen them go as high as 20%, which makes them less of an option if you’re looking for a good deal. Always check the market price before using a crypto ATM so that you know if they’re charging you fairly.

You can find a fairly comprehensive map at Coin ATM Radar.

Others No KYC

HodlHodl: No KYC, fairly well-known and trustworthy. It seems to work partially like LocalCryptos and partially like Bisq. May not support U.S. trades.

LocalCoinSwap: KYC is purely optional (i.e., it’s there if you want the extra layer of protection). LocalCoinSwap is pretty popular and supports a lot of countries, cryptocurrencies, and payment options.

LocalMonero/AgoraDesk: No KYC. Like LocalCryptos but just with Bitcoin and Monero. Generally well-regarded.

Some KYC

LocalBitcoins: The elephant in the room and probably the exchange you’ve heard of most often in connection with P2P crypto transactions. It’s still a good exchange, and you can trade up to 1000 euros a year with your email, name, phone, and country listed, but anything more requires ID. LocalCryptos is essentially the new LocalBitcoins.

Paxful

: Another popular P2P exchange that, like LocalBitcoins, now requires ID for trade volumes of $1,500 and for anyone who wants to post an offer or make a bank transfer.

BitQuick: Like Wall of Coins but with KYC starting at $400 USD.

To KYC or not to KYC

Cryptocurrency exchanges don’t want to make life harder for legitimate crypto enthusiasts, but the regulations that many of them have to comply with typically result in some pretty onerous sign-up and verification processes.

If you don’t mind providing ID and going through some bureaucratic hassle, conventional exchanges with KYC are a fine way to get into crypto. If getting that stuff together is a challenge for you or you have a philosophical aversion to it, you’ll have to deal with a slight learning curve to use a no-KYC exchange. No matter what, it is always best to keep your cryptocurrency safe as they are often unrecoverable.

Andrew Braun

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Top 10 New Cryptocurrencies To Buy In September 2023

The top ten new cryptocurrencies to buy in September holds immense potential.

Cryptocurrencies are trending worldwide and, a new movement in the crypto world is making the cryptocurrency market cap increase globally. For once thought of investing in any

Crypto Bay

Current Price: $0.1071  

Math-e-MATIC

MMATIC has the largest reflection of any token in Polygon MATIC. All you need to do is hold and get rewarded in MATIC on every transaction direct to you without having to do anything. This is as simple as arithmetic. If MMATIC reflects you 11% in MATIC on every transaction, then you will be paid in one of the best performing tokens in the crypto verse. Current Price: $0.000000502  

Snook

Snook is an online, multiplayer, “Snake”-like IO game. It’s riding the fastest growing trend in this segment – the “Play-to-earn” NFT game. The player’s snook character in the game is a minted NFT. Blockchain and Crypto technologies make it possible for Snook to immutably record these achievements (think of it as a Blockchain/Crypto “barrel”). The game character/NFT can be accessed for future games or commercial purposes, and under certain conditions provides financial incentives to the player. Current Price: $1.99  

Cycle Finance

The Cycle Protocol is a yield optimizer, allowing you to auto-compound rewards from a variety of DEX/projects from the Avalanche C-chain, with its liquidity mining program attached to it. The Cycle token will be used for governance, to give power to the community to the health and evolution of the protocol. It also receives part of the revenue generated to those who decide to stake it, to reward them. Current Price: $28.31  

SuperFuel

SuperFuel is a unique BNB rewards token where you are automatically entered into ongoing draws to win 1 Billion SafeMoon and join the SFM Billionaire’s club. Their contract automatically converts 5% of every transaction into SFM and when the contract holds 1.2 billion SFM the lottery is triggered. The contract will randomly select a wallet holding SuperFuel that has not sold the SuperFuel token in the proceeding 48 hours and automatically send them 1.2 Billion SafeMoon. Once the winner is selected the whole process starts again. Current Price: $0.0000006273  

Ledgity

Ledgity is the first digital infrastructure for wealth management that harnesses the benefits of

Project DogeX

DogeX is possibly the first project that has invented a ‘first of its kind’ trading mechanism that ensures their chart is always a higher low. With extra features such as a Fuel Stop, and Golden Hour. DogeX innovates with a new kind of Buyback function. It sweeps the floor: Whenever the floor is hit, the DogeX Buyback wallet performs various buy transactions automatically based on the floor Blockchain: Binance Smart Chain. Current Price: $0.00000001911  

MemeKiller

MemeKiller plays to earn the NFT game based on the binance smart chain. Role-playing RPG where everyone can feel like a warrior, fight with shit coins, earn money and enjoy the process. Personalize and improve your fighter, come out victorious in the battle and get kill tokens. Discover unique NFT items, upgrade your hero, trade, and get rewards. Current Price: $0.1843  

Robot Wars

Robot Wars (WAR) is a cryptocurrency and operates on the Binance Smart Chain platform. Robot Wars has a current supply of 100,000,000 with 0 in circulation. It’s a game whereupon being summoned, each ROBOT can enter the battlefield. As the summoner takes his robot to battle, summoners can earn WAR for every battlefield while strengthening the ROBOT through leveling up. The Stronger the ROBOT is, the more $WAR can be earned. Current Price: $0.005657  

Attrace

Attrace is a decentralized trust referral network. Their technology can be used to track any asset on any blockchain in the crypto space, i.e. NFT, liquidity provision, IDO promotion, etc.

How To Mirror Your Android Phone Screen To Your Mac Without Rooting

Learn how to mirror your Android phone screen to your Mac wirelessly or using a USB cable, and without having to root your device.

It takes just three taps on your iPhone or iPad to wirelessly mirror its screen to your Mac. The steps for reproducing your Android screen to Mac are not quite that simple, but it’s not hard either, and we will help you do that using free apps.

The process here applies to Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Redmi, Realme, Lava, Motorola, Nothing, Google Pixel, and almost all other Android phones and tablets.

Why use the methods described below

Unlike iOS, there is no native option on Android devices to mirror the screen to macOS. Therefore, some clients may need you to take significant steps before you can use them. However, with the methods we mentioned below, you:

Don’t have to root your Android phone.

Don’t have to turn off Firewall or FileVault on your Mac.

And you don’t have to reduce the overall security of your Mac.

Wirelessly mirror your Android smartphone screen to Mac

Highlights:

You do not have to enter developer mode for the screen cast.

You do not have to disable any security settings on your mobile phone.

I prefer this mirroring process over the wired method (explained next).

1) Make sure your Android phone and Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

2) Download the AirDroid Cast Now desktop client on your Mac and install it like any other app. Next, download and install AirDroid Cast-screen mirroring on your Android phone from the Google Play Store.

3) Launch AirDroid Cast on your Mac, and you will see the Wireless section with a QR code and a nine-digit numeric code.

4) Now, open AirDroid Cast on your Android phone and scan the QR code, or enter the nine-digit code you see on your Mac. After that, tap Start Casting.

After a few seconds, tap Start Now to allow the app to mirror your Android phone screen to Mac.

6) Now, you can tap the Home button on your phone to go to the Home Screen and, from there, go inside other apps. Everything from here will mirror to your Mac’s screen.

The AirDroid Cast app on Mac will show a thin sidebar with some handy tools. A couple of them can be used after getting the premium version, while others let you see the app settings, rotate the screen, etc.

You can hit the green button in the AirDroid Cast app on Mac to enter full-screen mode, which will hide the left sidebar.

Stop mirroring

Open the AirDroid Cast app on your Android phone, and from here, you can pause the mirroring.

However, if you want to stop mirroring, tap the X button in the top left corner and tap OK on the End casting alert.

Mirror your Android phone screen to Mac using a wired connection

Highlights:

You can control your Android phone from your Mac while casting. For example, you can use your Mac’s mouse and trackpad to open apps on your Android phone.

You will have to enable Developer Mode on your Android phone and enable a bunch of sub-settings. Please proceed at your own risks.

You do not have to connect your Mac and Android to a Wi-Fi network or maintain an active internet connection.

A wired connection is generally more reliable than wireless methods.

Step 1: Enable Developer Mode

Samsung: Go to Software information, tap Build number seven times, and enter your device passcode.

Pixel, Motorola, and other phones with stock or almost stock Android: Tap Build Number seven times until you see ‘You are now a developer!‘

Xiaomi: Tap MIUI version a few times until you see ‘You are now developer. Stop tapping.’

Step 2: Enable other settings

The app we’re using below will show you which developer sub-settings to enable after you turn on Developer Mode. You will most likely have to go to Developer options in phone Settings. On some phones, the Developer options are buried under Additional settings or More settings of the Settings app. Once you’re there:

Enable Install via USB

Enable USB debugging

Enable USB debugging (Security settings)

Turn off Verify apps over USB (Note: I didn’t turn it off, and screen mirroring still worked on my Xiaomi phone.)

Step 3: Get the Vysor app and open it

Vysor is a free app that allows you to share your Android phone’s screen with your computer. Get it from the Google Play Store on your phone and from the official website for your Mac.

Open Vysor on your phone and go through its initial screens. You have already enabled the settings it requires. Still, if it asks to do something else, tap Open Developer Options and enable or disable those options.

Step 4: Connect your phone to your Mac

Use a USB cable to connect your Android phone to your Mac. In most cases, you do not have to pay attention to the alert that appears on your phone after connecting it to your computer with a wire.

Step 5: See your Android phone’s screen on Mac and control it

Open the Vysor app on your Mac.

After that, you should see your Android phone’s screen on your Mac.

The thin row of icons on the top of the screen offers handy options to take screenshots, record phone screens, enter full screens, and more. But most of them are accessible after upgrading to the pro version. Similarly, you can also go to Settings to upgrade the mirroring quality if you have purchased a license.

Stop mirroring your phone

You can simply unplug your Android phone from your Mac to stop mirroring. Alternatively, you can quit the Vysor app on Mac.

Check out next:

Top Cryptocurrencies To Buy Today For Big Benefits In 2023

Profitable alert for crypto investors: top cryptocurrencies to buy today for profit in 2023

Crypto investors have started earning high profits from investing in the cryptocurrency market in these recent years. Cryptocurrencies have a substantial growth that this cryptocurrency market is running parallel to the tech stock market around the world. Thousands of cryptocurrencies to invest in 2023 are entering the market to attract the eyes of crypto investors. Thus, out of the most popular ones, crypto investors and especially the beginners are overwhelmed to choose from the top cryptocurrencies for big benefits. Let’s explore some of the top cryptocurrencies to buy today for receiving big benefits in digital wallets in 2023.

Top cryptocurrencies to buy today for big benefits in 2023 Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the top cryptocurrency to buy today for receiving big benefits in 2023. It is the number one cryptocurrency that is accepted in the financial sector and multiple companies have started accepting payments via Bitcoin. Crypto investors are earning hefty profit owing to the cryptocurrency price crossing US$60k margin recently. Though the price goes up and down for a while, it is the best cryptocurrency to invest in 2023.  

Ethereum

Ethereum is currently in the second position after Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency market. Ethereum has the potential to outgrow Bitcoin in 2023 and dominate all financial transactions and payments in all sectors. Crypto investors are eyeing for this cryptocurrency to buy today. It is known for powering thousands of decentralized applications to provide a fairer financial system in 2023.  

Solana

Solana is one of the top cryptocurrencies for big benefits in 2023 in the digital wallets of crypto investors. This cryptocurrency is known for effective, fast, and censorship-resistant blockchain for global adoption. It is expected to have a long-term increase in the cryptocurrency price in 2023 with a promising future.  

Polkadot

Polkadot is emerging as one of the top cryptocurrencies to buy today to become a cryptocurrency for big benefits in 2023. It is becoming popular for offering different solutions to crypto investors by bringing multiple blockchains on one unified network efficiently. It is highly estimated that crypto investors can have big benefits from Polkadot as it will grow massively in the nearby future of the cryptocurrency market.  

Tether

Tether is well-known for being a stablecoin without providing that high volatility like the usual cryptocurrency market. It tethers the value to the price of the US dollar or the Euro and is one-to-one pegged to the dollar. Thus, crypto investors can buy this cryptocurrency to invest in 2023 for gaining profit without worrying about incurring a massive loss. While other cryptocurrencies experience a drop in prices, Tether witnesses some rise in the cryptocurrency market.  

Binance Coin

Binance Coin is used worldwide for discounted trading fees and payments for different purposes and services with seamless transactions. It is predicted that crypto investors can buy this cryptocurrency for big benefits because the price can reachUS$1000 in 2023. Binance is the world’s number one cryptocurrency platform where Binance Coin is used to pay fees on this cryptocurrency exchange.  

Cardano

Crypto investors have started earning high profits from investing in the cryptocurrency market in these recent years. Cryptocurrencies have a substantial growth that this cryptocurrency market is running parallel to the tech stock market around the world. Thousands of cryptocurrencies to invest in 2023 are entering the market to attract the eyes of crypto investors. Thus, out of the most popular ones, crypto investors and especially the beginners are overwhelmed to choose from the top cryptocurrencies for big benefits. Let’s explore some of the top cryptocurrencies to buy today for receiving big benefits in digital wallets in 2023.Bitcoin is the top cryptocurrency to buy today for receiving big benefits in 2023. It is the number one cryptocurrency that is accepted in the financial sector and multiple companies have started accepting payments via Bitcoin. Crypto investors are earning hefty profit owing to the cryptocurrency price crossing US$60k margin recently. Though the price goes up and down for a while, it is the best cryptocurrency to invest in 2023.Ethereum is currently in the second position after Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency market. Ethereum has the potential to outgrow Bitcoin in 2023 and dominate all financial transactions and payments in all sectors. Crypto investors are eyeing for this cryptocurrency to buy today. It is known for powering thousands of decentralized applications to provide a fairer financial system in 2023.Solana is one of the top cryptocurrencies for big benefits in 2023 in the digital wallets of crypto investors. This cryptocurrency is known for effective, fast, and censorship-resistant blockchain for global adoption. It is expected to have a long-term increase in the cryptocurrency price in 2023 with a promising future.Polkadot is emerging as one of the top cryptocurrencies to buy today to become a cryptocurrency for big benefits in 2023. It is becoming popular for offering different solutions to crypto investors by bringing multiple blockchains on one unified network efficiently. It is highly estimated that crypto investors can have big benefits from Polkadot as it will grow massively in the nearby future of the cryptocurrency market.Tether is well-known for being a stablecoin without providing that high volatility like the usual cryptocurrency market. It tethers the value to the price of the US dollar or the Euro and is one-to-one pegged to the dollar. Thus, crypto investors can buy this cryptocurrency to invest in 2023 for gaining profit without worrying about incurring a massive loss. While other cryptocurrencies experience a drop in prices, Tether witnesses some rise in the cryptocurrency market.Binance Coin is used worldwide for discounted trading fees and payments for different purposes and services with seamless transactions. It is predicted that crypto investors can buy this cryptocurrency for big benefits because the price can reachUS$1000 in 2023. Binance is the world’s number one cryptocurrency platform where Binance Coin is used to pay fees on this cryptocurrency exchange.Cardano is currently at the fifth rank in the cryptocurrency market, according to CoinMarketCap. Some crypto investors are estimating that Cardano is the next Bitcoin while dealing with smart contracts. It can securely store confidential information as well as help to track the origins of several products. Cardano is well-known for processing 250 transactions per second efficiently. Thus, it is one of the top cryptocurrencies to buy today for big benefits in 2023.

Top 10 Most Profitable Cryptocurrencies To Buy And Hold In August

Investing in these top 10 cryptocurrencies over the long term might prove profitable

At present, investing in cryptocurrencies over the long term has proven profitable, but you must know about the market before investing. The crypto market has turned out to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Nowadays, everyone is planning to invest in cryptocurrencies to start making profits and start saving for the future. Many established cryptocurrencies are currently in the market, and over the years many of these assets have appreciated radically. This article features the top 10 most profitable cryptocurrencies to buy and hold in August 2023.

Ethereum

Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency with the new version of Ethereum 2.0 to cover the issues of the first version. It is an open-source blockchain to boost potential applications efficiently. Ethereum is commonly used by developers, but there are people who also invest in crypto for its potential worth.

Polkadot

Polkadot is an innovative protocol that aims to provide interoperability between blockchains. Right now, most blockchains run individually, making it hard to share data with other platforms. Through Polkadot’s parallel processing approach, blockchains can operate as ‘parachains’ within the system, enabling far higher scalability. For sure, it is one of the best cryptocurrencies to buy and hold in August 2023.

Shiba Inu

Dogecoin emerged out of a meme, but quite rapidly it became something that could gather a growing community of loyal supporters. Despite its whimsical beginnings, SHIB emerged as one of the top cryptocurrencies in the market with big selling points. The community also created an NFT project back in 2023 about SHIB that has enabled it to gain more attraction from crypto investors.

Cardano

Cardano may benefit from the development of dApps from now well into the future. This cryptocurrency beats market giants in one key area (?). Cardano’s development plan should result in a strong network that users can count on. It is one of the best cryptocurrencies to buy and hold in August 2023.

XRP

XRP is a blockchain platform designed to help people send money across borders. While any cryptocurrency can fill this post, Ripple stands out from other cryptos because of its scalability and real-world partnerships with financial institutions that use its technology. Ripple’s developers also operate an enterprise blockchain network called RippleNet, which has partnered with over 100 financial institutions on a global basis.

Avalanche

Avalanche, along with Solana, is another example of a crypto that has a clear purpose, as opposed to meme coins like Dogecoin, which have no purpose at all. Avalanche is one of the many projects seeking to “unseat Ethereum,” as one of the most widely used blockchain platforms, according to the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.

Dogecoin

DOGE is a good investment for beginners because holding DOGE for an extended period can give investors a view into what crypto investing is about. The more people invest, the higher the risk climbs. Eventually, those investors will sell their tokens to cash out their earnings, and the price of the crypto will fall.

Binance Coin

Binance Coin is a utility cryptocurrency that operates as a payment method for the fees associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. It is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Those who use the token as a means of payment for the exchange can trade at a discount.

Chainlink

Chainlink is a huge hit among Ethereum whales. For the year, 2023, crypto became the most-traded token. Ethereum whales bought and sold LINK tokens exponentially within 24 hours in 2023, surging its popularity and market dominance.

Polygon

Polygon introduced its version of the Ethereum Hardfork, which makes its pricing more predictable, eventually making MATIC deflationary by burning coins. Its purpose is to avoid over-flooding the market with token circulation, eventually improving the overall value of the token.

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How To Guard Against Social Media Identity Theft

Social media identity theft is growing more prevalent as we integrate social networks into our daily lives.

Simple mistakes can compromise your personal information, allowing scammers to steal your identity, use your Social Security number, or damage your credit.

Common-sense measures can mitigate the risk of social media identity theft, including customizing your privacy settings, hiding your current location, and creating strong passwords.

This article is for social media users who want to safeguard their personal and financial information against identity theft. 

By definition, social media is all about sharing information, including photos, articles and innermost thoughts. But sharing your personal identity and private information on social media may not be the best idea. Social media-based identity theft is on the rise, and what we share and how we handle our social accounts can determine whether or not we become victims. 

We’ll highlight best practices for protecting your privacy on social media, explore the risks of identity theft, and highlight scams to watch out for. 

Did You Know?

Social media isn’t just for personal use anymore. It’s common to use Snapchat for business, Instagram for business, and Facebook for business, which makes social media security a crucial topic for business owners as well.

How to protect your privacy on social media

According to the 2023 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research, approximately 42 million U.S. consumers have been victims of traditional identity fraud or identity fraud scams, resulting in almost $52 billion in combined losses. Social media is rife with information scammers can grab and use against you in various fraud schemes, including identity theft, ransomware attacks and data breaches. 

Consider the following seven best practices for protecting your privacy on social media. 

1. Keep your personal information private on social media.

Social media users routinely share their birthdays via their profiles, posts, and “about” information. It’s also not uncommon to discuss the high schools and colleges you attended, the city you live in, and your pets and their names. Some users may even include their phone numbers and other personally identifiable information. 

This personal data is a bonanza for identity thieves. To be safe, omit this information from your profiles and posts. Platforms include many options to fill out in profile pages, but you can leave this information out. 

Instead, offer a generalized version of your personal stats, or leave these options blank. For example, the San Francisco Bay Area is a general option for Burlingame, California. Providing generalized options still gives some information but makes it more challenging for scammers to figure out your ZIP code or home address.

2. Set strict privacy settings on your social media accounts.

Go into the settings for your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts to edit your privacy settings. Ensure all your personal information — such as your birthday, current location and workplace — is private or visible only to your friends.

When your privacy settings are more lenient, you give strangers easy access to all your information. They won’t even have to hack into your account to discover everything they need.

Tip

Your LinkedIn profile is particularly vulnerable because it shares your career history. Ensure you only connect with someone on LinkedIn if you trust them with your personal contact information.

3. Don’t tag or post your specific location on social media.

Many social media platform apps include location-based services to allow location tagging. The location tag is a fun feature, but not everyone needs to know where you are at all times. It makes you and your home or business location vulnerable, especially if your profile is public. 

It’s cool to let your social media friends know that you’re at Disneyland with your sister, but you’re also letting everyone know that you’re more than 100 miles away from your home, which means it’s vulnerable to break-ins.

4. Know your friends and connections on social media.

Never make yourself or your information vulnerable to people you’ve never met in real life. Steven J.J. Weisman, a lawyer at Margolis Bloom & D’Agostino and senior lecturer at Bentley University specializing in cybersecurity and identity theft, said befriending people you don’t know makes it easier for them to use the information on your social media accounts to learn more about you.

“These ‘friends’ who don’t know you gain access from your Facebook page to personalized information that often can be used to make you a victim of identity theft,” Weisman warned. You may unwittingly provide information to help them learn or guess your email address or answer security questions. 

Don’t add someone as a friend just because they send you a request. Use the “decline” button on suspicious friend requests. You can also unfriend someone on social media, unfollow them, or disconnect their account if you realize they’re a stranger or a fake account created only to access your information.

5. Always log out of your social media accounts.

Logging out of your social media accounts is especially crucial when you use a public computer, such as at a library or hotel. We all have some private information on our social media accounts, even if it’s only our name and a photo, and you don’t want to give someone easy access to your identity. 

Leaving your account open allows anyone sitting at that computer to see all your recovery email addresses, phone numbers, credit card information, private messages, and friends and family.

6. Use strong passwords on your social media accounts.

Passwords are critical keys to your identity if discovered, so they must be effective and difficult to guess. To create strong passwords, combine letters, numbers and special characters in randomized, nonsequential order. Avoid using full words and anything related to your birthday or current and previous addresses — these are the first keywords hackers will guess when attempting to log in to your accounts.

Key Takeaway

Use password managers to store unique passwords for every account, eliminating the need to remember or write down complex passwords.

7. Use security software on devices you use to access social media.

Internet security software protects your identity while surfing the web or using social media. For example, if you download a message from a “friend,” that message could contain a keystroke malware program that steals your personal information from your computer. Antivirus software can detect and remove such rogue software. 

Most internet security software suites have identity theft protection features like anti-keyloggers, secure environments and password protection that features computer encryption.

What are the risks of identity theft?

Identity theft and fraud are multi-billion-dollar scams that impact large segments of the U.S. population. Identity theft can affect individuals and businesses in the following ways: 

Identity theft can impact finances. The most noticeable impact of identity theft scams is financial. Depending on the scam’s severity, attackers could empty bank accounts, take over investment or retirement accounts, and even potentially take control of a victim’s mortgage. ID theft cases can necessitate legal services that further compound the financial impact. 

Identity theft can damage your career. Actions by scammers who misuse your identity could appear on background checks and potentially affect employment opportunities. 

Identity theft can harm your reputation. Scammers could hurt your online reputation if they seize control of social media accounts. This is particularly damaging if you use social media for business. In worst-case scenarios, scammers could take control of a social media account and pose as the account holder while using the account to distribute malware, send phishing emails, or launch additional attacks on other targets. 

Identity theft can lead to account bans. If identity thieves misuse your social media, platforms could ban your accounts. You could lose years of work spent building up a social media following. 

Did You Know?

Remote workers have added scam concerns. Remote cybersecurity tips include using only work email accounts, enabling multifactor authentication and guarding against phishing emails.

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