Facebook is a social networking site that allows friends and family to connect, whether near or far. But as with all social networking sites, Facebook does not come without risks. What should you keep to yourself on Facebook?
Birth Date and Place of Birth
Facebook offers users the option to complete their profile, along with listing their date and place of birth. This may seem harmless, but before you post your actual date and place of birth, think carefully about what you are revealing to the world. Facebook is a public forum, which means anyone can log onto Facebook and look for this information. Some new users are harmless and are simply searching for old school friends, but others are identity thieves, poised to strike.
Once an identity thief knows your full name, date and place of birth, they have a lot of information that they can use to easily steal your identity. If you still wish to include your date and place of birth, do not include the year you were born and offer the county, or country you were born, rather than the name of the actual town or city.
Guess What I Did Last Night!
Look back at your latest wall posts on Facebook and ask yourself some important questions such as, “Would I want my employer/parents/or spouse to read these posts? How will my confessions be interpreted by a future employer?” It is amazing what some Facebook users will post, such as their occasional use of illicit drugs, breaching confidentiality laws (this is a big no-no, especially if you are in the law or medical profession), rants about how much you hate your employer and much more.
Remember that nothing you write on Facebook is for your eyes only. Before you post anything, always imagine that your employer, spouse, parents, or others are sitting beside you or looking over your shoulder at what you are writing. Doing so can help you to curb the tendency to provide information that can damage your reputation, personal relationships and it can even spare you your job.
Jet-setting off to exotic climes is exciting. Many of us are so excited about going away on holiday that we gush about our plans on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But before you let the whole world know that you are off to Tenerife next week, stop and think of how your posts could lead to harm.
Criminals who scour Facebook pages are on the lookout for those whose homes will soon be vacant so that they can rob them during their absence. Do not give burglars an invitation to your home by keeping holiday plans to yourself. If you want to share details of your trip, post photos after you arrive back home, but do not give out any clues before you leave.
Facebook can be used for good, but it can also be used by criminals such as identity thieves, burglars and other individuals who are looking for an easy target to rob. Keep personal information such as your date and place to yourself or vague, keep confessions to yourself and do not mention holiday plans.