Identity theft is big news, but with the continued trend of social media platforms, and the information we use to populate our profiles, are we actively encouraging improper use of our personal property?
Here are seven steps you can take to secure your social media and protect you, and the people you love.
It’s tempting to promote your birthday in the hope that people will send you festive felicitations, but a birth date makes it easier for unauthorised access to bank accounts and personal details. With the addition of a name and address, you’re open to fraud.
Want the world to know you’re dating? Want to put it out there that you’re single and therefore available? Changing your status to reflect whether or not you’re cuddling up in front of Walking Dead with a beau or a bar of chocolate can be empowering when it’s something you’re happy about, but it also has the potential to make you feel worse.
Bank details/credit card details
If you’re a regular poster, you’re constantly giving away your whereabouts, and probably your home address – see the advice on Birthday above – so turn the automatic tagging off and use it wisely, if at all. Anyone who’s keen to keep in touch, even when you’re not, can find you easily. Don’t become stalker prey.
You’re proud of your niece/nephew, you can’t wait to show your friends the latest outfit/disaster/funny face. But every time you post pictures and details of children, you’re inadvertently adding to their vulnerability. Don’t forget too that what goes on the internet stays on the internet, and when these youngsters grow up and are being “Googled” by prospective employers/partners, are they going to thank you for the history you’ve created in their name?
We all need to let off steam, but airing your anger about work or study colleagues, or even worse your boss or tutor, on social media immediately increases the likelihood they’ll get to hear about it. If you absolutely must post it, make sure it’s something you would be prepared to say to their faces so that when it gets out, as it inevitably will, you’re prepared for it.
It’s tricky to navigate the path of political correctness. Prejudice, whether intentional or otherwise, is determined by the experience of the observer, so while you might think you’re being funny, someone else might be genuinely offended. Confide in friends off-line and keep any post you make free of perceived discrimination.
Have a look at the benefits of being social media free.