In this brave new world of hitherto unparalleled technological advancement and ever more startlingly sophisticated ways of living one’s life online, to say that it is easy to share far too much of your own personal identity would be a vast understatement.
It can sometimes feel like it is all-but impossible to withhold personal information online; if you are anything like me, the auto-fill forms on websites utterly terrify you – it always astonishes me to find out just how much of my personal information is stored online, and scarier still, I don’t have the first clue of how to start diminishing my personal footprint on the web.
Moreover, with the advent of social media, recruitment firms and prospective employers can find out more about their potential job candidates than ever before; in this Big Brother age, it is entirely unwise to post anything remotely divisive or easily misconstrued online – it could be the difference between getting the job of your dreams, and receiving a polite – albeit automated – email of rejection.
We’ve all seen a post on Facebook that has made us shudder, whether someone is airing their dirty laundry online or else making a decidedly unwise joke, but here are some things you might not have considered that you should never share on the social networking site.
- Your Home Address
It might seem plain to the more discerning and street-wise netizens out there, but you really, really should not share your home address online. Remember that it is possible to reveal your address without actually writing it in your “about” section; photographs could accidentally reveal it; though heaven forbid you would ever be foolish to post a photo of your latest bills on Facebook. One good reason not to post your address online is an obvious one; if you subsequently share photographs of your holiday hotdog legs, that is practically a welcome sign for burglars to break into your empty abode.
- Phone Number
We’ve all seen a status that reads something along the lines of “dropped my phone down the toilet, new phone, here’s my new number” followed by literally writing their mobile number out in the post. This one is linked to the advice about your address; a crook can use your phone number to conduct a reverse search and find out your address.
- Your current location
Sure, it’s nice to check into the local mall to let your pals know that you are buying some sweet new sneakers, but bare in mind that, in doing so, you are telling absolutely everyone where you are. This is particularly inadvisable if you have connected with people you don’t know particularly well – or else at all – on your Facebook page.
There are of course other nuggets of information that you would be better advised not to share about yourself on Facebook; when it comes to protecting your identity and financial and physical well-being, caution is always the best policy, and common sense will go a long way to keeping you out of the clutches of potentially ill-intentioned hackers and criminals.