There are over one billion active Facebook users every month from all over the world. Think one billion messages sent, status posted, pictures uploaded, pages visited, groups created. Facebook has become the most popular social networking site several years after it was first created in 2004. The question is, how safe are you on Facebook? Does setting up your privacy details thoroughly make it safe enough for you to disclose personal information on your Facebook accounts? Imagine forgetting to log out your Facebook on your office desktop computer, the library or just at home? A stranger could be going over your account in a matter of a split second.
Before you hit the share button again, consider the following posts you might want to avoid in order to keep your “private life” private and you and family safe from any reprehensible harm.
The day you were born
It’s your birthday, and you want everyone to know… or not really. Unless you want an easy giveaway to identity thieves who have too much interest in your personal information, keep your complete birth date – and those of your family members’ and relatives’ – to yourself. Facebook has an option to keep the date of your birth seen by public but not the year, just in case you want those birthday greetings coming in during that time of the year.
Where you are
Facebook allows adding your current location to a status, photo – or an entire album. You can even tag your friends in your posts real time. Should you? Think of thieves who might take advantage of the time you’re away from home. Adding your location especially when you’re with the entire family on a vacation (and the whole world knows) gives them a hint that this could be the perfect opportunity to rob your house. People stalking you may easily identify your location at the moment and can follow you around from time to time. It is always better to be paranoid than sorry. You can upload your pictures after your vacation anyway.
Who you are with
Parents and guardians should make sure that children do not disclose to Facebook that they are left alone at home. It’s risky to let other people know that their children have nobody at home to watch over them. You’ll never know who are actually reading these posts. This can automatically pose serious danger to children. Again, prevention is always better than cure.
Who your kids are
I’m pretty sure we’ve all mentioned complete names of friends, family members and children on Facebook as we tag them on status and photos. Parents should steer clear of tagging their children and mentioning their date of birth, as strangers may use this information for intention of what could be worse as kidnapping or extortion. Strangers are likely to use such information to pretend they are family friends or relatives. In short, you’re doing them a favour. Avoid disclosing full details, your relatives and close friends don’t need this information.
Who you are
Some people think that posting a link of their curriculum vitae on Facebook will help them land a decent job. This is not true. There are more appropriate and private sites and forums for that. Remember that your CV contains personal information about you including birth date, name of your parents, address, the year you graduated, your previous job and the like. Identity thieves will be very much delighted to see this document of yours. So the next time you want head-hunters to find you don’t do it on Facebook.
Keep in mind that some information needs no broadcast. Despite the privacy of your account, keep to yourself what you practically do not want to disclose to strangers. Think before you click.