Privacy is one of the biggest concerns today, when online use has become a must-have in our daily lives. A lot of people can’t go a day without posting their thoughts on Facebook, a new photo on Instagram, or sharing a link on Google+. Unfortunately, the lack of privacy provokes online predators and scammers who are just waiting for you to slip and make a mistake, posting something inappropriate that can later be used against you. Avoid dire consequences of oversharing on social media by avoiding letting these 7 things out.
1. Someone else’s news
Imagine that your cousin has shared a secret that she is expecting a baby. Or your best friend is planning to leave his job for a better offer. You get so excited by the news that your first thought is to share it with your online friends and celebrate together. However, you need to keep in mind that the author of the news might not want other people to know yet. One phrase on your social media can cause a lot of trouble to the people who confided in you, so before you open up Facebook and type someone else’s exciting news, either ask them if they want the news to be posted, or simply avoid writing about the news until the author decides it’s time.
2. Vacation information
Writing something like: “Going on vacation from 11th to 20th. Gonna miss you all” is the same as saying: “Come and rob my house or apartment while I’m away”. It’s understandable that you want to share the news of a long-awaited vacation with your closest friends and family, but there are other ways to do it – for example, by sending an email or a private Facebook message. Additionally, you can make your Facebook private and only add people you know and trust in real life – that way you can be sure your possessions will be safe even if you’re gone for a long time.
3. Financial data
It may be hard to believe, but a lot of social media users make the same mistake: they post sensitive information online without thinking who can possibly see their message. This financial data includes credit card number, name of the cardholder, and CVV2 number, which should not be shared with anyone under any circumstances, because these numbers can be easily used by scammers to steal the money from your card. It’s also not recommended to share information about your salary in case one of your co-workers reads it and gets jealous because he’s making less.
4. Talking about your job
When you have a hard day at work, it may be rather tempting to go to Facebook and posting something like: “So sick of my job.. time to look for a new one”. You’re likely to change your mind in a couple of hours, but what you post online will remain online forever, even if you delete it. In the few hours your post remains online it can be seen by your current employee or co-workers, which can make them unhappy and give them a reason to fire you. If you don’t want to lose your job or alienate colleagues, avoid posting anything about your current job.
5. Password clues
A lot of people choose very simple passwords for their websites, like their mother’s maiden name, the name of their pet, or their date birth. If you’re keeping that information private, your passwords are in less danger of being stolen, but if you’re often sharing your private data, hackers or scammers can steal your password and hack your online accounts, doing more damage than you can imagine. Either keep that data to yourself, or choose more complicated passwords.
6. Personal conversations
If you want to have a serious or simply private conversation with someone, the only way to do it right is to do it via private messages. There is not one good reason to share your news or views on someone’s Facebook wall and have them reply on your wall. Take your chat to private messages and take advantage of the privacy this feature gives you, instead of letting everyone know your secrets.
7. Private photos
It may be hard to keep from posting lots of photos online, especially if you’re very happy with your life and want to brag to your online friends. However, posting personal pictures online often has negative consequences that depend on the type of photo you post. For example, if you post pictures of your new, shiny and expensive car, it can lead to people being jealous, which can have a bad influence on you. Posting photo of children, especially if there are other people’s children also present in the photo, is also not a good idea – their parents might not be happy about it.