Most of us at this point use social media. And we don’t just use it… we basically live inside of it. We breathe Facebook; Twitter has become our only source of nourishment, and Instagram is the blanket we refuse to sleep without. But, you know what? There’s nothing wrong with any of it. We just need to stay safe on social media.
That is, until we begin to divulge the wrong information at the wrong times. And when this starts to happen, the end result can be just as bad, if not worse, than any run-of-the-mill cyber threat, hack, or breach. There’s a potential for a whole lot of negative consequences – like running into a thief or damaging your reputation or missing an invaluable opportunity.
So before you run off and do any of those things, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind while you’re living inside of one of your many social platforms.
It’s really fun to share your memories with all 1000 of your Facebook friends that, let’s face it, may not all be your real-life friends. In fact, some of these “friends”, you may not even know… at all. So when you’re getting ready to share your vacation photos as you’re vacationing, do yourself a favor and think twice about it.
If you share these memories as they’re occurring and then go on to say how much longer you’re going to be making these memories for (for example, “This next week in Cancun is going to be great!”), then the only thing you’re doing is giving thieves an all-access pass to your empty home. You’re saying, “This is how long I’ll be gone for and this is everyone that came with me. My house is your house!” Share your photos and your memories when you’re done with them. Yes, this can be hard, but it’s for the better.
Usually, this goes without saying, but unfortunately, usually isn’t so usually these days. We hear about it more and more where some person somewhere gets shot down for a job, shunned by his or her family, or removed from a position of authority all because of some inappropriate post. And it always comes as a huge surprise to the person responsible for the posting. But, people, you need to remember that at the end of the day, an inappropriate post is an appropriate post.
If you at all question whether or not you should post something, then don’t do it. Your job, your family, your friends, your reputation – none of these things are less important than a funny meme, a rude comment, or a questionable photo. Keep the content that you share on your social profiles appropriate for all audiences you share it with and any audiences who might have indirect access to it – because remember, just because you aren’t friends with that person, doesn’t mean that person won’t ever see it.
One other thing you have to worry about when interacting on social platforms is whether or not you’re creating a pattern for yourself. Do people know exactly what days and times you go to work? Or when and how your children get to school? Or what route you travel for your morning jog? If anyone can decipher these things from your Facebook or Twitter profiles, then you have yourself a little problem.
Again, this falls in line with a burglar knowing that you’re on a week-long vacation – except in this instance, things can get really scary. If you don’t know every person who’s watching your profiles, then there’s potentially the opportunity for bad people to learn more about your life. Don’t allow this to happen so easily. Watch what you post and keep your settings as private as possible, and always, always know who you’re friends with.
Learn more how to stay safe on social with a layered security approach.