How Your Credit Can Be Impacted By Social Media
You’ve heard the social media horror stories before. You know, the ones about how a college pulled a recruit’s scholarship offer over offensive content that he or she posted to social media. Or how an employer didn’t make a job offer to a potential hire over similar controversial content that was shared via Facebook or Twitter. Soon, your credit score could similarly be affected by what you post on social media. It’s already happening in other parts of the world.
Today, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is in place to help protect Americans about what their data is knowingly used for when it comes to credit purposes. And to date, though the credit reporting bureaus can monitor your social media accounts, they can’t use it against you without disclosing it – so they don’t. Like we said in the opening, this could soon be changing because it’s already happening abroad.
Take Lenddo, for instance, a startup company based out of Singapore. Specifically, the firm incorporates a consumer’s social media data, among other online behavior, into determining their financial health and how reliable of a consumer they are likely to be. In other words, if any of the credit scoring entities detect suspicious financial-related posts on social media, they could use it against you with such a service. With the amount of consumer data available these days, it’s certainly well within the realm of possibility – and once it’s on the Internet, it’s there for good. Again, it’s important to note that this isn’t something that’s an issue right now, but it might be a good idea to refrain from posting about how broke you are, the big vacation you’ll never be able to pay off or bemoaning about the debt you’re in on the various social platforms. It might not be long before that can be held against you.
Social Media and Identity Theft
While credit scoring from social media isn’t yet viable in the United States, there is one current way that social media can burn your credit score: identity theft. Specifically, hackers can take what you’ve posted on your various social channels to put together pieces of your confidential information to the point where they can open lines of credit in your name. When this occurs, it can negatively impact your overall credit score. Most of the experts agree that there are a few key pieces of information you never want to post on social media:
- Your mother’s maiden name: This is often one of the security questions that is asked to gain access to an account. So while it might be a nice gesture to pay tribute to your mom on social media, beware of the danger.
- Your current location: We get how tempting it can be to post about the great vacation you’re on. But to any criminals monitoring your social channels, this just serves as an open invitation to attempt to gain entry to your home. It’s easiest to do when they know that the homeowner isn’t there.
- Your birthday: Yes, it’s awesome to see your Facebook page blow up with well wishes on your birthday, but keep in mind that this is another key piece of information that a hacker will need to impersonate you.
The moral of this post is to be careful what you put on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and all of the other social networks are great for staying in touch with family and friends, but they do have a dark side as well. That dark side may be getting more complicated very soon.