File this under Worst Idea Ever. The age of oversharing the minutia of daily life has led many people to think that tweeting and Instagramming photos of their debit cards is a routine social update.Twitter account @NeedADebitCard aims to teach these citizens a lesson or two about personal security, by collecting and re-tweeting these TMI tweets, complete with photos. “Please quit posting pictures of your debit cards, people,” the tagline reads.
The tweets generally post some level of excitement (“Yaaaay my credit card came in! <3”) or exasperation (“Just cut my debit card in half because I decided that money will not rule my life…”), along with a photo. Sometimes the poster decides to obscure the numbers with their hand or a blur effect, but many just post the whole card, unaware that they just gave up enough information for someone to commit fraud.
“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 PC Mag’s Security Watch.
Going through the @NeedADebitCard timeline, it seems many of the offenders that have been spotlighted have removed their pictures from Twitter or Instagram (which has been working to protect its users by removing the dangerous images). Certain tweets have also disappeared completely from the feed, so it’s safe to say that the posters have learned their lesson—let’s just hope it wasn’t the hard way. After all, the NeedaDebitCard feed could also be a convenient resource for thieves since assembles loads of card numbers in one handy spot.
Either way, consider this a cautionary tale. We know the pull to post about our lives on various social media platforms is often hard to ignore. So, go ahead, post about your promotion, your haircut, your new car, your kid’s report card. But, please: Do not post pictures of your debit or credit cards. Just say no.