Even in these internet security-savvy times, it can still be all too easy to post something on your social media that has unintended consequences. The internet is a very public place, and anything you post can be accessed by anyone, regardless of your privacy settings. With that in mind, here are five things that you should never post on social media.
Your home or work address. While this may seem like common sense, many social media platforms have incorporated ways to indicate your geographical position. These include things like Facebook’s check-ins, Instagram’s geotags, and Snapchat’s snap map. While this can be a fun way to find people who are attending the same big event as you, it’s not something that you should use for day-to-day posts.
Certain photos: children, compromising photos, and private photos. While it’s perfectly fine to post a few pictures of your kids, your siblings, or your friend’s kids now and again, you should avoid posting anything that indicates where they spend the majority of their time. If the kids aren’t yours, be sure to check with their parent to make sure that it’s okay to post a photo of them. Secondly, it’s wise to avoid posting photos that involve an illegal activity, like underage drinking or drug use. Even if your followers don’t care, a future employer checking out your social media might! Lastly, most people assume that sending “private photos” via Snapchat or Messenger is a safe method to make sure they’re only seen by you and the intended recipient. However, the amount of celebrity photo leaks should make clear that no photo sent using modern means is ever truly private.
Vacation plans. Just like your home or work address, vacation details aren’t really things you want out on the internet. The reason is slightly different though; malicious people may not care where you are, but they’ll care where you aren’t. If you make it clear on your social media that you’re on vacation and won’t return for a week, that leaves your home vulnerable to robbers.
Hints about your password. Granted, it might be unlikely that someone would post something like “My password has three letters, begins with an ‘I,’ and rhymes with ‘TS.'” This is as much a caution for safe passwords as it is about what you’re posting on your social media. Don’t have your password be a combination of your kids’ names, the name of your dog, or your anniversary date!
Financial information. Yes, there are actually some people who post photos of their credit and debit cards. There’s even an entire Twitter account dedicated to these people, @NeedADebitCard. But aside from blatant security missteps like this, you should also avoid posting any information that might indicate what bank you use, or what sort of income range you have.