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Are You Inviting Thieves at Social Networking Sites?

Now a more popular way (according to Nielsen Online) to keep up with people than email, sites such as Facebook and Twitter are growing rapidly.

Although social networking sites are a convenient way to keep up with friends and family, remember that everything you post becomes open to the public. Of course, you would never post your bank information or social security number. But did you consider the fact that posting your pets name, hometown, local newspaper and other 'harmless' information gives anyone who wants it the answer to many typical questions that are often used to reset your banking and other sensitive passwords?

Is your home address or phone number posted? How about your birthday? With enough information, a thief can set up a personal profile and reset passwords so they can access your financial accounts, credit cards, or investments.

"Most often, identity thieves need look no further than your own social network home page to find personal information that can help them steal your identity or reset banking and other sensitive passwords," said Howard Schwartz, a spokesman for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau in Wallingford, CT.

Better safe than sorry. Take a few minutes to review your social networking profile on any site you participate. While you want to give friends enough information, make sure it isn't so much that people you don't know can use it against you.