Facebook is an excellent platform for sharing parts of our lives with the family and friends we may not get to see all that often. With such a massive data breach hitting the news, now more than ever, it is important to make sure you’re not sharing information that could put your security or safety at risk.
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Here are 7 things you should never share on your social networks:
1. Your date of birth
What’s wrong with putting your birthday on Facebook? Well, it’s simple. One of the most common questions that our online services ask us when we’re trying to retrieve a forgotten password is our date of birth; therefore it’s not a great idea making this information so accessible, at least publically. Sure, this may stop you from receiving the hundreds of wishes on your special day from your friends from a far, but is that a risk you’re willing to take? Don’t forget your real friends have other ways of remembering your birthday.
2. Where you are at all times
Location services can be useful for many reasons, especially if you want to add geotags to your photos from your holiday last summer. The problem is publishing posts like airport check-ins to wherever you’re traveling to – you’re basically telling the world you won’t be in your house for weeks! Would you put that kind of information on your front door?
3. Photos of your children
The internet is a very sensitive place when it comes to publishing photos of children or young adolescents. It’s not to say don’t put any pictures of children on your social media accounts, just be careful with the content. Many people want to share photos of their kids with their friends, but there are plenty of privacy options to play around with that make it almost impossible for any outsider to view them.
4. Specific details about your job
It’s fine to discuss how happy you are at work but never go into too much detail, especially discussing something which could seem negative to an outsider. Refrain from discussing that boss you don’t like, or that crazy colleague you can’t stand– the internet world is a small one, and this information could get into the wrong hands – which is never a nice situation to find yourself in.
Never give information about your company’s future plans. You expect your employer to respect your confidentiality. Therefore it’s only fair to do the same in return.
5. Private conversations on your wall
We’ve all seen them – friends talking to friends in a string of comments as if no one were reading. Do not, under any circumstances, reveal private information such as telephone numbers and emails for all to see. If you need to share this kind of information, it just takes a second to click on Messenger. Don’t risk it!
6. Clues that could give away your password
What’s your pet’s name? Which school did you go to? These questions are also very common when trying to retrieve a forgotten password. Therefore, if you do decide to share photos of your pets on Facebook, make sure not to put their name in the caption. Facebook also allows you to list family members within your contacts – it’s worth thinking about whether or not you want this information made public. When choosing your security questions for various web platforms in the future, it’s a good idea to go for the more difficult options or at least something you don’t feel you’ll ever need to share on Facebook.
7. Public posts in general
It’s in your own interest that as of this moment you will make a conscious effort to control who sees what, as far as your Facebook posts are concerned. Go to your wall and take a look at your most recent posts – are they public? If so, take the time to change them – it’s so simple to do!
What other things would you never share on your social networks?
This article was originally published in June 2016 but has since been updated.