Over 16,000 Wisconsinites filed federal complaints last year victims of consumer fraud or identity theft. Patty Struck of the state Department of Financial Institutions says about half of the state’s victims are 20-to-40 years old, those most willing to share online their personal lives on Facebook and MySpace . She says everybody must learn they shouldn’t provide personal data to unfamiliar people.
A Marquette University researcher says people are developing different attitudes on what should and should not be kept private. Sarah Bonewits Feldner, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, says there is a “fundamental shift” on what people consider privacy.
She surveyed around 600 college students only about 7% were willing to list their address on their profile with 92% who listed their birthday. With 77% of respondents saying they shared their hometown, identity thieves can piece it together from there, says the communications educator.
Feldner believes online users of the age who did not grow up around the internet seem to be less savvy when it comes to protecting their information.