Cybercriminals are using social media to obtain personal information to exploit online

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Cybercriminals are always on the hunt for new ways to steal information. According to the Better Business Bureau, they like to target people that share personal information on social media.

"It makes their job easier, they don't have to work as hard," said Elizabeth Garcia, President of the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama.

A lot of us post what we're doing, or what we're eating and the BBB says we should be careful in doing so

"Cybercriminals will research the internet on a particular mark and gather as much information that's readily available and they do get a lot from social media," Garcia explained.

Those criminals are using social media to take identity theft to new heights.

Simple posts like birthday party photos could allow cybercriminals to manipulate or even worse, locate us.

"Each photo has a date stamp and a location stamp," Garcia said.  "If you have not turned that off, that feature off on your camera or smartphone before you take the picture, that information will automatically be there."

Even the smallest of details can be used by these cybercriminals to personal online attacks, like those sometimes convincing phishing scam emails you may have found in your inbox.

But these attacks aren't always limited to the internet.

"If you post that you're out and already on vacation and you're posting these great pictures of you at the beach with your friends and family, guess what? That's telling any would be thief wherever you live, 'Hey I'm not home. My house is open for you to rob.'"

The BBB encourages people to think before they post online. Oversharing information on any social platform gives criminals insight to tons of personal details.

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