Social media has become THE place to share all the things that are going on in your life. But these social networking platforms can also pose a problem for your data security. We have a tendency to share Too Much Information (TMI), and that can put your cyber and personal safety at risk.
Have you ever posted or seen posts of friends away on vacation, or showing off their new super hi-tech entertainment system? Unless you are very tight with your security settings on your social media, people you don’t know at all can see those posts. When we share details of our lives, hackers and cyber criminals can use that information to gather even more specifics of your life. This could lead to identity theft, data theft, and personal physical harm.
Here are some of the top things you should NEVER share on Social Media.
1) Your Birth date
It can be heartwarming to receive all of those lovely wishes of Happy Birthday in your feed. Think about all of the forms you’ve filled out where your birth date is required. Having your name and birthday gives criminals an important step in stealing your information.
2) Your Social Security Number
This is a key identification factor of who you are. It’s used by banks, government forms, etc. Never even share the last 4 digits of the number. Cyber criminals have algorithms that can run through the combinations and come up with the code to steal your identity.
3) Your home phone number
Do you like getting scam and robo calls? Because they could certainly increase if you post your home phone number online. It’s fine to share it with friends, but not on the public space that is social media. Your business number is OK.
For your own personal safety, don’t list your full home address. Months later, when you post the pictures of you and your family at a national park on vacation, Social Media thieves can scroll through and find your address and break in to your home. Or it could be used for other scams.
Some sites, like Facebook, do allow you to restrict some of this information, like birthdays. It’s wise to be wary and not take the risk if the site doesn’t have these options. Just don’t include the information. Ask the site to include this protection option in the next upgrade. If enough people ask, they may listen to the request.
Sharing news, pictures and stories is one of the fun parts of the various social media platforms. Just don’t share TMI and you should be fine.