Facebook is a lot of things, but ‘secure’ isn’t one of them. Neither is ‘safe’. That’s why when you post stuff on your ‘wall’ you have to be extremely careful.
It’s not that you shouldn’t use it–that’s like telling people not to watch TV–but we are saying that there are things you should never, ever reveal on Facebook if you value your privacy.
After all, aside from your friends, there are stalkers, predators, hackers, trolls, and assorted creeps online at any given time. Which is reason enough to keep your guard up. Catharine Smith and Bianca Bosker of The Huffington Post have compiled a list of the things you should never post on Facebook, according to the experts. We now present 10 of them for your edification:
10. Your Child’s Name. Why not? Two words–identity theft. Never use your child’s name in photo tags or in captions. If someone else does, ask them to remove your child’s name immediately. Protect your kids while they still have good credit!
9. Your Vacation Countdown. “There may be a better way to say ‘Rob me, please’ than posting something along the lines of: ‘Count-down to Maui! Two days and Ritz Carlton, here we come!’ on [a social networking site]. But it’s hard to think of one,” CBS MoneyWatch writes. We couldn’t agree more.
8. Your Phone Number. Why? Tom Scott, a developer, created an app called Evil that displays phone numbers published anywhere on Facebook. According to Mr. Scott, “There are uncountable numbers of groups on Facebook called ‘lost my phone!!!!! need ur numbers!!!!!’ [...] Most of them are marked as ‘public’, and a lot of folks don’t understand what that means in Facebook’s context–to Facebook, ‘public’ means everyone in the world, whether they’re a Facebook member or not.”
7. Confessionals. Sure, it feels good to get stuff off your chest. Have you gotten away with something recently? That’s great–just don’t tell Facebook! People have actually been arrested for over-sharing on the site. Think of all the people who have been denied jobs or school admission for revealing too much in the moment. Think before you post. Then think again!
6. Kooky photographs. It’s chilling but true–Ars Technica recently discovered that Facebook’s servers can store deleted photos for an unspecified period of time. That’s right, even those photos. So the next time you feel like posting an outrageous photo of yourself, do something else instead.
5. Your Jaunts. Even though apps like Foursquare and features like Facebook Places encourage you to share your current location at any given moment, it’s highly inadvisable to do so. Again, why give potential burglars the intel they require to rob you successfully?
4. Your Epic Journeys. For some reason, people love to crow about their travel plans on Facebook. Even when they plan to be away from home for a long time. Unwise. At least mention your world-class alarm system and guard dog when you do. Even if they don’t exist.
3. Your Home Address. Just don’t do it. Why? Google Maps, burglars, crazy exes. It’s just asking for trouble.
2. Your Mom’s Maiden Name. Everyone knows that your mom’s maiden name is a security question on many websites. Companies–like credit card companies–rely on this information to keep your data safe and secure. Do not divulge!
1. Date and Place of Birth. “Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse advises that revealing your exact birthday and your place of birth is like handing over your financial security to thieves. Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon researchers recently discovered that they could reconstruct social security numbers using an individual’s birthday and place of birth,” reports The Huffington Post.
So there you have it–what not to post on Facebook. Remember, if you happen to be on a social media site and you’re not sure whether or not to post something–don’t! Always err on the side of caution–just think of all the jerks online waiting to take advantage of careless posters!
Talk To Us! Have you ever posted something on Facebook you later regretted?
Image source: Kitschycoo