In today’s day in age, it’s so easy to connect with friends new and old online. You can even make new friends online that you’ve never met in person. And, in creating an account on a social networking site to do just that, you very often will add personal information about yourself.
What’s your favorite color? Your favorite band? Where do you live?
But did you know that some of this information is better left of the internet? It’s true. Putting personal info online is actually more dangerous than you may think.
Sure, you want all your friends to know it’s your birthday, but if you tell them the exact date and location you were born, you’re giving someone enough information to figure out your social security number. Scary huh?
There’s more. Post it on your wall that you’re going away on vacation, tell those crooks exactly which Hawaiian island you’re going to and what hotel you’re staying in. They’ll know where to find you, or even when you’re away from your home so they can steal everything out from under you.
Something else to keep in mind is that many people don’t actually know the people they’re “friends” with online. There’s a reason Twitter has a lock feature you can activate on your account. That way, friends have to ask you for permission to follow your Twitter feed. And if you get weird people asking to see what you’re typing, you can decline their request at the simple push of a button. That way, only people you trust can see what you type.
You might have been friends with someone online for 5 years, but if you’ve never actually met them, how do you know they’re not playing you, and planning to steal from you at some point in your life. You don’t. True, not everyone is out to rob you or hurt you, but these days you just can’t be too sure.
When you sign into your bank account online they will always ask you a bunch of security questions to make sure it’s really you if you ever forget your password. Those questions tend to be things like “What’s your favorite food?” “Where did you grow up?” and the most common is “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” If you post these on Facebook, or any other social networking site, robbers now have the answers to these questions. They can go through each one until they find the correct question and answer set to get into your account and access all of your money. Super scary, isn’t it?
And last, but not least, don’t ever write confessions online about how you smoked a lot of dope last weekend, or complain about your coworker’s annoying habits. Your boss is checking up on you, and if they find any reason to fire you posted on your Facebook account, believe me, they just might do it. Also, your future employer will be checking up on you online when you send them a resume. They want to make sure they’re hiring the right person, but if they find out about something you did recently that doesn’t jive with their expectations of their employees, there’s a good chance they won’t hire you. And you really need that job too, so don’t do it.
All in all, it’s best to play it safe online. One can never be too cautious.