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7 things never to post online

While it can be tempting to post constant updates to social media to show your friends what you’ve been up to, there are some things about you that should stay off the internet for good. Trevor Cook, a technology specialist at EarthWeb, gives you the rundown of seven key things that you should never ever post to the internet.

Personal Information

You should always avoid sharing sensitive data like your home address, phone number, or social security number on public platforms. This information can be exploited by cybercriminals for identity theft or other malicious activities, and could also be used to “dox” you if you become involved in a targeted online harassment campaign. “Doxxing” involves sharing your personal details to a large group of people online as an intimidation tactic.

To make certain your sensitive information is never widely available online, be careful not to enter any details on untrustworthy websites, and check social media posts - especially photos - to make sure they have no identifying details before you hit post.

Financial Details

Never post pictures of your credit cards, bank statements, or checks. Cybercriminals can use this information to steal your financial assets or commit fraud. Check carefully before entering your financial details on any website, and ask yourself whether that site is trustworthy. If you see a closed padlock icon in the address bar at the top of your browser window, that’s a good indication that the website you’re using is secure.

Vacation Plans

Though it can be tempting to share your travel plans far and wide, be cautious about what information you share about your upcoming holidays. Broadcasting your forthcoming absence from home can make your property a target for burglars.

Be cautious about sharing detailed travel itineraries publicly. Don’t share the exact dates you’ll be away on a public post, and for maximum safety, only share your holiday photos after you’ve returned home. Sensitive information like flight numbers and hotel names should only be shared through secure channels, and only with close family and friends.

A top tip from us is to never share a picture of your boarding pass on social media, either before or after your flight. Cybercriminals can use the numbers and barcodes on the pass to access your accounts to commit identity theft or for targeted scams.

Sensitive Conversations

Avoid having sensitive or private conversations on public social media posts or messenger apps. Always use secure and private channels for discussing confidential matters like legal or business details.

Never vent online about personal conflicts with colleagues or family members, as you never know who might see your posts. As well as permanently impacting your relationships, both current and future employers could see these posts, giving them a negative opinion of your professionalism and potentially costing you that promotion or new position.

Car Accidents

Though it can be tempting to vent about an accident on social media to receive help and support, you should never discuss car accidents and insurance claims until the matter is settled. Sharing information about the incident on social media can potentially harm your case as insurance companies and legal authorities may scrutinize your public statements, and may be allowed to use your posts as evidence. Any conflicting information could jeopardize your chances of receiving fair compensation or legal resolution.

Expensive Purchases

We know that if you’ve just bought some new electronics, jewelry, or appliances, you might want to show them off on social media. However, it’s best not to mention big new purchases online, as this could attract potential thieves and increase the risk of break-ins.

Children's Information

No matter how much you might want to celebrate your child’s achievements or just show off how cute they are, you should never post personal details about children online. These include their full names, birthdates, and where they go to school.You should especially avoid photos that reveal their location, and some experts recommend not posting any pictures of your child online if you can help it. Protecting their privacy and safety is paramount, as this information could be exploited by malicious individuals.

By being wise online, you can protect yourself from cyber threats and identity theft, and enhance the safety of your home and household.

According to Cook, ‘Many people are unwise about what they post online. As a result, they make themselves vulnerable to burglars, cybercriminals, and more.’

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