Word to the wise: Never tweet your debit card number

Jul 9, 2012 13:39:18Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Word to the wise: Never tweet your debit card number

There have been numerous news stories as of late explaining the importance of protecting online privacy, and yet some Americans are still offering up personal information on the web. According to the Los Angeles Times, a Twitter account is taking advantage of when users post pictures of their debit cards, making it easier for identity thieves to access the information.

The Twitter handle, @NeedADebitCard, has about 2,704 followers, and it basically retweets when other users post pictures of their debit cards. The tweets range from "My debit card came in the mail today!" to "Just found my debit card <3," all with pictures of the cards attached. The account doesn't post anything original, just the retweets from other users, the news source reports.

According to PC Magazine, some of these "twitpics" are complete with the user's full name, card number, expiration date - and even the security code on the back. 

"Something so blatantly obvious as posting your credit or debit card number just speaks to the lack of awareness of what consumers think criminals can do with a set of numbers," Brian McGinley, senior vice-president of data risk management at Identity Theft 911, told the news source.

The photo-taking application Instagram is trying to protect these individuals. If the app finds one of these pictures posted through their service, they delete it. Those who click on the defunct link will be brought to an Image Not Found page, according to the media outlet.

"Social media and online services are making it easier for thieves to obtain identifying information about us - like our birthdates, addresses, mother's maiden name and more," McGinley told the media outlet. "In today’s environment of quick and easy data aggregation, identity theft can start with something as simple as a debit card number."