Read this before you click the ‘share’ button. There are some facts that you should never, ever post on your Facebook. It’s not just your friends or family members who are reading your profile—cyber criminals, or even the old-fashioned robber who wants to break into your home—can be lurking on your page, waiting for any information they can use. Insurance companies and even your employer can also check your Facebook to see if you’re a ‘risk.’ Read on to find out more about what information is better kept off your wall.
What’s your birthday?
You can post the month and the day, but keep mum on the year and your place of birth. One interesting study by Carnegie Mellon shows that complex software can be used to predict your social security number.
Don’t talk about your vacation plans
You might as well send robbers a personalized invitation to rob your home if you say, ‘Three days till we go to the beach!’ They shouldn’t know where you’re going or when you leave. It’s better to just share your vacation photos when you get back.
Don’t share your home address
This should be pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised: one study done by Ponemon Institute found that many people listed where they lived, even if they didn’t change privacy settings. If you’d like people to stay in touch, just give them your email, and if they want to send you a card or a big package they can always ask you for more details.
Don’t reveal too much
It’s a social networking site, not a confessional. But people regularly vent about ho they hate their jobs, or recount how they got so stinkin’ high and drunk at a party. Wow, might as well go to your boss’ office and offer him a sniff of cocaine, right? Companies can find a way to access your Facebook and Twitter account, and in fact 8% o them have fired employees because of something they revealed on social media.
Protect any passwords
Many online accounts will ask you to fill in a security question in case you forget your password. This can mean anything from your pet’s name to your Mother’s maiden name or your favorite movie. However, you could easily be displaying the answers to all these questions on your Facebook page, making it easy for a cyber criminal to crack into your email or online shopping account.
At least on Facebook. Stories and photos of you driving your car at high speeds to getting crazy-drunk at a wedding party are better off unposted. Insurance companies are developing procedures that could gather information from social networking sites, and if they see that you’re the type who’ll ‘engage in risky behavior’ they can increase your insurance fees or even cancel your insurance policy.
And needless to say, any job recruiters won’t be impressed either. There goes your chance of getting a better job, especially if you tend to send inane messages on Twitter too. (Read our tips on how to sound smarter on Twitter.)
Photo from bellastuffs.wordpress.com