As recent events in the technology world have suggested, there is a cost to having an online presence. You might think downloading free social media apps and/or games is cool, but be aware that some of these free apps store your cherished data to sell for profit. Privacy is a rarity these days, and your beloved social media sites are largely to blame for that.
But there are things you are likely doing on those sites that are making the situation even worse, and because Facebook is right now the king of social media (the site has over two billion users worldwide, including 16 million Nigerians who log onto it each month), before you ever hit “share” again, here are seven things, culled from www.popsugar.com, that you should never post on Facebook so as not to compromise your data. Note that apart from the risk of technology companies saving your data and selling them, you also risk giving away your life to cyber-fraudsters and other criminals.
Your home and work addresses
You might be thinking, ‘Thank God, I don’t have my home and work addresses on Facebook.’ Wait, this is not just talking about typing your whole address onto your Facebook profile. “Checking in” and geotagging photos can give away your address even when you don’t realise they are doing so. For instance, you know how you can create your own geotags for Instagram photos? When you do this, it pulls the location of where you’re currently at. So, if all your made-up geotags point to the same location, some creeps can assume that’s where you live or work.
Also be mindful of other people who may tag your address. Maybe you have friends who usually “check in” to your apartment on Facebook without asking for permission. Next time, tell them it’s not OK.
Certain photos of kids
If there’s one time you should be extra careful, it’s when it comes to children and social media. When they’re not your own kids, you should always get permission from their parents before you post anything. And even if they are your kids, you still want to steer clear of uploading these compromising images, including where they go to school. Before you feel too guilty because it’s what you do, know that some of the people who don’t do these things today were also guilty before.
Telling people you’re away from home for an extended period of time is an invite for robbers to break in. This doesn’t mean you can’t post photos from your trip while you’re on vacation. Just limit this to a select, trustworthy group of people as opposed to your entire network. And never post your entire itinerary, like “I’ll be in Madrid from Oct. 10 to 17; Berlin, Oct. 17 to 25; and Rome, Oct. 25 to 31. Before flying back home, do you know anyone in those cities who might want to hang out with a new friend?” Bet you were once guilty of this or still are.
Online security questions aren’t the strongest, especially when they require information that you could easily give away on social networks. The small town where you grew up, your childhood pet’s name, where you were married, your first boyfriend’s name — these are all specific details your larger social circle doesn’t need to know anyway.
Social media quizzes
Another one that might sound familiar are some quizzes flying around these days on the social media, particularly on Facebook. You are asked, ‘What is your best shoe brand?’ ‘Which city did you visit last?’ ‘Which food do you enjoy most?’ ‘What is your favourite candy?’ Do you seriously answer those questions? You sell away your private data when you do so.
We’re not assuming you would ever post nude photos on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, but you might send them on Messenger or Snapchat. That’s still a bad idea, seeing as how no one but you can be trusted with those photos these days.
Credit card or financial information
Some people post pictures of their credit cards on social media (please say you’re not one of them). Okay, you might not be doing so, but did you know there are less obvious details you might unintentionally be giving away through Facebook or Twitter conversations?
For example, no one needs to know what bank you use and your income range. Even your birth date and place give hackers enough details to access your financial information. Hide these information, please.
In addition, some people are experts in displaying their flight tickets and passports on social media. Their reason(s) for doing such is unfathomable.