Social media has taken the world by storm. It has permeated all corners of the globe, and has changed the way we cultivate our friendships, reshaped the way we report and consume the news, and most importantly, redefined how we share information about our lives.
But just like in real life, there’s such a thing as sharing too much information (TMI). It’s easy to get caught up in the social aspects of sites like Facebook, but what you choose to share is there for all to see if you don’t limit who can view your information.
A study by Pew Research found that 40 percent of users have open access to their profiles, allowing anyone to view their information. The other 60 percent restrict access to friends, family and colleagues. Sharing personal information with strangers can be dangerous business, and there are some things you should definitely put on your “do not share” list.
We’ll go over some of those items below:
Keep your personal conversations personal.
Personal and private matters should never be shared on your wall. You wouldn’t go around with a bullhorn announcing a private issue to the world, and the same thing goes on the Internet.
Don’t share company information.
Don’t divulge company information on social media – even if it is something exhilarating like a promotion. If you want to message anything work related, be selective and send private e-mails instead.
Personal photos of your family should be kept to a minimum.
Social networking sites are a common place for people to share pictures of their families, but if you’re one of the users who don’t restrict access to your profile, then those pictures are there for everyone to see. If you post pictures of your family and include information like, “my husband is out of town this weekend” or “little Bobby is old enough to stay at home by himself now,” then you are putting yourself and your family at risk.
Don’t divulge your address and phone number.
If you share your address and phone number on a social networking site, you open yourself up to threats of identity theft and other personal dangers like burglaries. If you post that you’re going on vacation and you have your address posted, then everyone knows you have an empty house. Identity thieves could pay a visit to your mailbox and open up a credit card in your name. Burglars could rid your home of anything of value. Even just posting your phone number gives people with Internet savvy easy access to your address!
Never discuss your personal financial information.
Avoid talking about your financial situation – where you bank, invest money, etc. There are savvy identity thieves out there that can tap into your personal finances using the innocent comments you make on Facebook about your personal financial information, and have a field day.
Don’t share your password.
Never share your passwords with friends or on any social media network. Even sharing the password with a friend so he or she can log on and check something for you can be a risk. People tend to use similar passwords for all their logins, security codes etc. Imagine if the wrong person got to discover your password?