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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

LinkedIn Tip #38 - What about my personal information on LinkedIn?

Why do you have your correct birthday and address listed on LinkedIn?

November of 2012 I had someone try to steal my identity. Thank goodness for an alert young man at Visa, who noticed.

I was working in my office one day when the phone rang. It was not a rare occurrence, so I thought nothing of it. However, when I answered, I discovered that it was a young man from Visa. He identified himself and then proceeded to ask me if I had moved to Toronto? I told him that I was not moving to Toronto, nor had I been there for several years, and then it was only to change airplanes at the airport as I travelled to visit family In Nova Scotia.

Him: "So you did not purchase over $500 worth of goods at WallMart in Toronto?"

Me: "Of course not!"

Him: "Well we just received a call from a man in Toronto asking us to change your address to one in Toronto. You're sure you are not moving there in the near future?"

Me: "No, I am not even planning to travel there in the near future."

Him: "Well, then we feel that your card has been compromised."

Me: "How did this happen?"

Him: "We think it is an inside job. You will need to contact Equifax and a couple of other credit companies to make sure that your identity is protected."

He gave me the numbers to call for the companies. As soon as I hung up, I made the phone calls.

Here is what I discovered: For someone to steal your identity, all they need is your name and your birthday. They do not need your picture, because they will use their own picture and take on your identity with their headshot.

So, do you have your correct birthday and address listed on LinekdIn? ...You do!

Change it! Right now, go into LinkedIn and change your birthday, either to a fictitious date or remove it all together.

Right about this time I had the honour of presenting some workshops with George Greenwood, THE Identity Theft Guru of the world, renowned author of 5+ books, and professional speaker.

We placed a big screen between us. I would proceed to demonstrate to our audience how to use LinkedIn. Then George would explain how the members of our audience could do what I said and be safe.

George also explained how important it is to not have a birthday even listed on any of our social media.

I chose to have my birthdays listed, so I look normal, but every birth date I have listed online is incorrect.

Once I walked into a networking meeting and everyone started singing, "Happy Birthday to you!" Well I like to sing, so I joined right in. When they finished singing, I asked them whose birthday it was? They said, "Yours!"

I asked them which online platform did you get that from?

I change my birthdates every so often, so they are never the same.

Best rule of thumb is to not have a birthday listed online anywhere.

Regarding your address, only list a PO Box mailing address that is not where your residence is located. Some say that this is unprofessional, but I would rather be safe than sorry, right?

How about you?

To learn more about marketing and branding best practices, join us on our last FREE webinar coming up June 14th at 4pm MDT/ 3pm PDT.

Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress

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