Social media networks are the perfect place to share the best moments of your life with all our friends in one go. It also keeps you connected to people that you haven’t seen in a while or that have moved abroad. And it is so easy to do it that it is understandable that you feel tempted to share there every single thing as soon as they happen.
And yet you know you shouldn’t do it at all. You probably know a few cases where the consequences of making your life too public have also been published on social media. Some of them even make their way to the traditional media, with newspapers and TV news telling stories about how people have got themselves into trouble for being too open about thing they shouldn’t, such as these below:
1. Your personal details
Your personal details, such as your home address and phone number, should not be posted online. You probably think that you have never done that, but think again. Remember that event that you created on Facebook, that one that took place at your house? Or that day when your friend posted that he/she had lost their mobile and needed everybody’s else phone number again? That was it.
2. Your house’s pictures
One of the burglars’ favourites source of information is social media accounts. There, they can find fresh pictures of people’s houses – indoors and outdoors. Depending on the photo’s angle, criminals will know everything valuable that is in there, and if there are any alarms (and their models), dogs or CCTV system. No further research needed after that.
3. Your company plans
Bragging about our company’s latest figures or revealing their not-yet-launched products on social media is certainly a good way to get yourself fired. Even if you have never signed an NDA, it isn’t a good idea to be talking about sensitive information anyway, as you never know if a competitor is reading your timeline news. So leave the task to the marketing and public relations departments which happens to have much better writing skills than you.
4. Your financial affairs
Needless to say that your financial details shouldn’t be broadcasted. But you probably have seen people posting pictures of themselves showing off their brand new unlimited credit card, their payslips, and bank statements. Or shouting all over the place the extra money they have made in bonus that month. It will just make both online and offline criminals’ work easier than you wished.
Yes, this is a sad truth. People do share their passwords on social media. Sometimes they do it directly when trying to help another crazy person’s in need of free Wi-Fi. But most of the time it happens unwillingly – they have their motto as their password, and the sentence is written on there on their cover photo or profile description. Plus, you can imagine how bad it can get when the password is just their birthday or any other personal detail easy to find on any social media account.
6. Complaints about your boss
It has been a hard day, and you decided to go online to blow some steam off. And there you are nagging about your boss on social media. It isn’t even necessary here to mention those people who do it after befriending their boss in the very same account. If you have passed this amnesia test, you might still get caught by the friend of the friend, or if your post is so cool that it goes viral. So don’t you ever take your chances in this matter.
7. Your embarrassing moments
You had so much fun last weekend that you can barely remember it. And, on Monday morning, your drunk pictures are all over social media. If you have posted them, do yourself a favour and delete them as soon as possible. If your good friends decided to you should all be embarrassed together, ask them to cut you out of it. Many employers are taking social media profiles into consideration while searching for new talents nowadays, just to give you one reason to not share online what happened last evening.
8. Your passwords’ hints
It isn’t only your passwords that you end up revealing on social media without noticing. It is also those hints that are used to verify your password in case you forget them, such as your first school and you mother’s maiden name. So try to keep this information away from social media as well.
9. Your holidays
So you are leaving your house for holidays and you let everybody on Facebook knows about it. Rest assured that all the criminals in the area will be informed as well. And if they are already satisfied by what they have got from the tip number 2 above, they will be happy to know that this is the best time to visit the place.
10. Your lies
The truth is that some people just can’t keep their mouth shut. They are having an affair, they cheat on their exam and got an A, they bought a fake driving licence, they lied to their boss about being sick, and they need to tell the world how smart they are and how they got away with it. Unfortunately they won’t be celebrating for very long.
The bottom line
Despite all the security and privacy measures that social media networks try to have, it is impossible to believe that they are perfect. And this isn’t their fault only, it is ours as well.
Remember that saying that a secret can only exist between two people if one of them is dead? Now guess how bad it can get in an over 500 “friends” scenario, plus the natural ignorance and ingenuity of many of us. So treat every information that you publish online as public, and you can’t go wrong this way.