Even if it seems innocent at the time, you could be sharing information that is valuable for cybercriminals. Here are 10 things you should never online:
1. Your complete date of birth
Did you know that more than 10% of Americans use their birthdays in passwords? The risk isn't only for cracking passwords. A birthdate at many times can be authentication for logging into an account or for a forgotten user name. Some cybercriminals will even create specific pages to get this information posing as social media sites like Instagram. Make sure you don't overshare your birthday and trust that those who care, will remember.
2. Your current location
Ok, really, why does anyone need to know where you are and what you're doing? Besides maybe, your parents? You're letting anyone who wants in on the information to follow and track your every step. Other than not sharing your location voluntarily, check all the apps that have permission to your location and disable those that don't need it. For example Waze, Google Maps, Uber, Lyft - yes. Face swap apps, nope.
3.Your vacation plans
As exciting as it may be that your trip to Barcelona or sleepover at your best friend's is coming up, this is classic TMI (Too much information). You could easily be exposing yourself to burglars lurking to break into homes.
4. Your real phone number
Revealing your phone number online could be used against you in so many ways. For one, it could make you exposed to tech support scams - hackers that call you and take over your computer. Other scam methods that include your phone number can be fake 2FA sites and Smishing (phishing via SMS). Smishing works the same as phishing via emails but can appear more legitimate as it got delivered straight to your phone.
5. Pictures with geotags
It's great to create memories and share them on social media with friends and loved ones. But you don't have to tag every place you go to. Not only could you be letting in on the information that your home is empty, but you're also giving details on yourself to advertisers and data companies.
6. Embarrassing photos you wouldn't like to be shared with your work or family
The rule is, would you like your parents to see this? If the answer is no, don't share it. Especially intimate photos that you don't know where they could end up.
7. Pictures of others without their permission
Every person has the right for privacy and what they would like to share about themselves. If someone doesn't have a social media account or isn't very active, they may not notice a photo tag, and this doesn't mean they don't need to know their pictures are exposed. Always seek permission and respect people's privacy.
8. Hateful posts on companies or people
Not only can this be highly offensive, but it could also be illegal. If you had an issue with a particular provider, turn to them personally or leave a review on a dedicated platform. If someone upset you, talk to them in person. Never humiliate anyone, it causes emotional damage, and surely you wouldn't want anyone to do the same to you.
9. Contest posts that you aren't sure are real
Many scammers use social media to promote contests that urge you to give in personal information. Even if you see a post from a known company, it could be a cloned page trying to lure you into a scam. Be careful before you participate in a social media contest, and before you share it with your network, so you don't accidentally expose others to scams.
10. Fake news
Celebrities and known figures are always a hot topic on social media, and we've learned that there is a lot of fake news, especially around essential times that could affect people's perspective. If you aren't sure the news piece is real, keep it to yourself.