Sharing is an integral part of the modern Internet, but there are some things you should never share. You already know that a hasty email or poorly worded Facebook post could come back to haunt you, but the things you share in your various online profiles could be just as dangerous.
No matter who you are or which websites you frequent, here are four things you should never share online.
#1. Your Home Address
Posting your home address on the Internet is just asking for trouble. Not only does it open you up to identity theft but it also tells criminals exactly where you live. Never share your home address when setting up a social media profile, and scan your personal websites and other online presences as well.
Be careful when setting up an event on social media as well. If you are hosting a party at your home, you might share your address so guests no where to go. If you choose to take that route, be sure to delete the event as soon as it has taken place. Even better, ask guests to message you for the address instead of including it as part of the event posting.
#2. Your Phone Number
Posting your phone number online is risky business. At best, you will open yourself up to harassing phone calls. At worst, an identity thief could use your phone number to glean other personal information and compromise your financial life.
Many social media sites ask for your phone number, but you do not have to share that information. If you must enter a phone number to complete the registration, using your work number is much safer.
#3. Payment Information
Saving your credit or debit card number on your favorite website might be convenient, but it is also a great way to become a victim of identity theft. From major retailers and home improvement centers to restaurant chains and even local governments, data breaches are everywhere. If the bad guys hack your favorite online store, they could make off with your payment information and wreak havoc with your bank account.
While saving any payment information online is a bad idea, saving a debit card number is especially risky. If a thief gets your debit card number, they have a direct line to your checking or savings account, and getting that money back can be a long and complicated process.
#4. Complaints About Your Boss or Employer
Social media gives you a chance to vent about any number of issues, but you should not use the platform to badmouth your employer. The interconnected nature of the Internet means that anything you post is likely to find its way to the boss, and that could put you in a difficult position when you return to the office.
Posting negative things about a current or former employer could also come back to haunt you during a job search. Employers now routinely scan Facebook and other social media platforms, and if they do not like what they see you will probably not get the job.
The online world offers great convenience and a chance to connect to people around the world. From shopping in your pajamas to reconnecting with your best friend from high school, the possibilities are endless. Just be sure you protect yourself and never post information that could be used against you.