How much information should you give out on social media?

With the rise of social media, things have changed. We all now have lots of online friends and it’s considered cool to have lots of friends, likes and followers.

Our only “friends” are people we don’t even know face to face. It’s estimated that we have never met or know anything about at least half of our online “friends”.

When you get a LinkedIn request to connect, from someone who sounds interesting, they might even be in the same type of business, you are likely to connect with that person without even knowing if the person you connected with is the same person in the profile pic.

While social media can be a lot of fun, you often give out information on social media without even thinking about it. You are giving out the information to a whole lot of people you don’t know and it may be shared to places that you are unaware of and have no control over.

For example, there once was this family who went on a long holiday. It was a holiday they had planned and talked about for a long time. Like many excited travelers, they shared all of their plans on social media and even shared the dates they would be travelling.

Unfortunately, while they were away, their house got broken into and they were robbed of a whole lot of house contents.

When they got back, they tried to claim from their insurance company.

But their claim was turned down by the insurance company. The reason given was that they had shared all their dates and details of their holiday which made it easy for the criminals to know when to rob them.

This might be an urban legend, but it does make one think about your personal details, and how much one should share on social media.

When you go on holiday should you post a selfie of your face and your passport? Stories like these make you think.

With so much information already out there, a quick Google search can show where you work, tell us if you have pictures of your kids on Facebook, and we can even see who your wife is.  How safe can we be online if all of this is easily available?

Your details are out there and anyone who is really trying to target you, will be able to get a lot of information. It is up to you to make it as difficult for them as possible. Don’t make them interested in you because your information is so easy to get if they are being given it on social media.

Things like ID numbers addresses, and especially bank account details should never be given out on social media. NEVER!

What happens when you have a family?

How much information should we tell our families to keep personal in terms of their own and the rest of the family’s details?

How much of our own personal information should we share on social media and how much of other people’s info should we share.  The internet is full of advice, but the common thread is to not post other people’s activities or stories without their permission

When someone phones your child and asks them about their mom or dad and what their names are and where they work, a 7 or 8-year-old will happily tell them everything they know. All of that information is a foot in the door for a criminal to get even more information.  Perhaps we should be talking to our families about our and their personal detail security.

 

But then there is information that we all really should share.

Who should we share this important info with and why must we share things like change of address?

But, this information should still not be shared on social media. We’re talking about sending an email to the bank or insurance company.

When you change your address, or if you move jobs, you have to contact the following people:

  • Bank
  • Insurance company
  • Work HR

Bank – because you have given them your address to send any serious (like legal information) to.  If that changes and you default, or payments go missing for whatever reason, you might find yourself with a judgment because you never responded to any correspondence so they assumed you were ducking and diving and went ahead with legal action.

Insurance company – because they may not pay if your car is insured for one area and that’s not where it is kept anymore.

Please do any and all important changes via email.  Send an email, don’t just phone and talk to the call centre. Keep that email, and if you don’t get an email confirmation, send the email again.  If you have notified the bank 5 weeks in a row of your change of address, there is no court which will say that you have tried to hide away.

In the end, keep your personal details private and don’t give any information to people you don’t know. It’s as simple as that.