In the era of Facebook, there are some personal safety guidelines that everyone should consider before posting information. For better or for worse, social networking has changed how people communicate but don’t make yourself an easy target for those unscrupulous criminals trolling for information.
Post the month and day of your birth, but not the year. Since you provide your full name when you establish your profile, if you enter your full birthday you are making yourself the next identity theft victim! Also for some of you, do you really want people to know how old you really are.
Posting your home address – DON’T DO IT!
Don’t post your vacation plans before you leave. This combined with number two, just means that everyone on Facebook could potentially be at your house robbing you blind while you are away. Sharing your vacation photos online is a nice way to show off the amazing places and things you did – just do it after you get home.
Your favorite song, your pet’s name(s), your mom’s maiden name – don’t fill out those surveys and post the results on-line. Most of the security questions you have to fill out ask the same questions, and if you put the answers to those on your Facebook profile – you are giving other people the ability to retrieve the password to your bank account.
Over-sharing – not all of your friends care about your farm, your stupid pet society, what you ate for lunch or your Mafia. Don’t post anything about the fight you had with your significant other, your boss, or your friends. Also don’t share personal information you wouldn’t tell someone when you are face to face.
Some mortgage companies are now checking out profiles for any information that might be detrimental to your getting a mortgage. Bragging about your credit card debt or how you were just audited by the IRS (again) may not be the best update to post.
Potential employers may be looking at searching your profile when making their final determination. Changing your privacy settings to restrict who view your information may be wise.
Insurance investigators are using Facebook to see if any posted activity would result in a denial of a claim. Don’t brag about racing your motorcycle down Lake Shore Drive at night, or any other risky behavior.
Those racy pictures you have, don’t share them on Facebook. In fact, don’t share those types of pictures anywhere. If you send them to someone, you never know where they may end up (hint Girls Gone Wild). Save yourself the embarrassment and find a picture you wouldn’t mind Great Aunt Helen seeing. Also a picture is worth a thousand words your wife will not understand why you took a picture with the blonde and the brunette even though they are just your friends.(yeah right!)
If you have to complain about work, leave it as generic as you can. Rather than say you are working on your last minute sales pitch for the new marketing campaign presentation tomorrow at Acme Corporation, just say you’re stuck working late. Don’t end up like this guy: