As time goes on, the usage of social media spreads further across the globe, and seeps deeper into the lives of those who are already using it.
Most of the time, social media is a fun, healthy way of communicating with friends and family, accessing news and gauging opinions from around the world. However, if misused, social media can become a very dangerous place.
Learning what not to share on social media is vital when it comes to protecting you, your identity, your family, your job and much more. To help you avoid the pitfalls of social media sharing, here’s a list of the top ten things you should never share on any social network.
Why the need to be so careful on Social Networks
Unless you go to great efforts to keep your social media accounts private, anything you post online is subject to being seen by anybody. That can be a problem in some cases.
For example, there are certain opinions and facts about your life which you may wish to keep away from the eyes and ears of your employers or family members, and even from criminals.
In fact, setting your social networking handles to private never really eliminates the same threats. The people you have following you may share your information with others, or perhaps their devices might fall into the wrong hands. Either way, for these reasons, it’s in everybody’s interest to know what not to share online.
1. Company & Business Information
If you work for a company, or even if you run your own business, you need to be careful about the information you divulge. Anything you say about the inner-workings of you company of business can be used against you in ways of identity theft.
Additionally, it’s never healthy to talk about your employer’s establishment, lest they see the comments and hold you accountable.
2. Family Relations
If you have a family, you’d do well to keep their vital information off your social networking handle, for both your safety and theirs.
Mentioning that arguments, disagreements, divorce or any other major events are ongoing within your household, might leave your family members open to abuse, and may also invite predators to engage with the more vulnerable members of your family. Not to mention the potential rumor spreading which may occur.
3. Extreme Political & Religious Views
Having extremist views on politics or religion is one thing, but airing them on social media is something completely different, and can land you in some hot water.
No matter what your views, try to regulate your tone and the way you come across. Hefty opinions on such sensitive issues can be used against you later in life, disliked by employers, and sometimes even drop you into lawsuits.
4. Personal Finances
It seems obvious, but many people today fall into the trap of sharing their financial situations on social media. This can range to bragging about expensive cars or vacations, to announcing to the world that you’re absolutely broke.
Both cases offer their own risks. Bragging about wealth will make you a target for crime, whilst expressing your financial worries online may leave you open to shady deals, as well as raise questions in the minds of people about other aspects of your life.
5. Holiday Schedule
It may seem far-fetched to some, but criminals – and especially burglars, do their research. If, for example,you’ve made the mistake of announcing upcoming holiday dates for you and your family, you’ve made what could be a huge error.
This is because would-be criminals can now mark their calendars for a strike on your home, your credit cards and so forth, knowing that you’re miles away, and won’t be back until they’re long gone.
6. Location Information
Most social media users have followers who know them personally, accompanied by those who they’ve “met” only online. In a worst case scenario, the latter section may well use your location information as a way to track you down. Identity thieves may also make good use of such information.
Of course, some social networks give you the option to add a location to your updates, which can be nice when attending special venues. However, it’s best to refrain from sharing your exact home and work address for the reasons given above.
7. The Internals of Your Home
Many social media users love to post videos of their homes, displaying both the exteriors and the interiors – including all the vital exits and entrances. This is especially popular with people who have recently moved home.
Sharing the internals of your home can be very dangerous, as it gives potential burglars a visual of your house, allowing them to plan their break-in, and also to plan their escape.
8. Job or Boss Complaints
Social media can be a great place to vent about the stress of your work after a long day, but we all need to be careful about the details we go into.
Complaining directly to your boss or manager can have dire consequences, and has resulted in people getting fired in the past after rude comments about their superiors were shared via Facebook and Twitter.
9. Daily Schedules
Much like sharing your vacation dates, it’s never wise to tell the world exactly when you’ll be leaving your home vacant. Burglars and other criminals will most definitely thrive on such information.
Additionally, informing people of daily trips to your place of work or leisure at certain times can even leave you open to stalkers and other unfriendly followers.
10. Birth Date & Location
Surprisingly, many social media users find it within themselves to share information as important as your date of birth, along with your birth location.
Identity thieves work extremely hard to discover such information about potential victims, and so you do yourself no favors by broadcasting it via your social media accounts. To keep yourself protected, keep your birth information close to your chest.
Staying safe on social media means sharing the right content, and keeping the rest ell away from prying eyes – and that’s exactly what you can achieve by safeguarding the ten things above whilst online.
Never forget that, no matter how private and personal your social network may seem over time, there is always a chance that strangers, predators, identity thieves and other dangerous characters can use your information against you in the worst ways possible.
So, continue to have fun using social media, just stay safe!