Cybercrime has been rapidly increasing and with social media at its peak, thieves can use the information you post on your profile to steal from you.
It’s low risk for a criminal to steal from people online as their identity can remain hidden- and social media is the perfect feeding ground for them to hack into your accounts and steal information.
We use social media to talk about our lives, our friends, our family and even our pets. It might seem innocent to you, but you should think twice before you post.
But where should you draw the line? When does the information we all share become a potential risk to ourselves? Let’s start with the top 5 things you should NEVER post on social media.
1. Your birthday
Waking to a flood of happy birthday messages on your timeline from family and friends sounds nice, right? But did you ever stop to think that your birthday could be a key piece of information a hacker needs to access your accounts? Think about it. How many people use their birthday as part of a password, login or other ‘confidential’ information?
Our advice: Remove your birthday information from your online profiles or only make it visible to close friends. The whole world doesn’t need to know what day you were born, especially if it’s a security risk
2. Your location
It might seem harmless posting a picture of you sipping a Pina Colada from the pool in Spain or ‘checking in’ to a local restaurant with friends, but thieves see it as an opportunity to gain access to your empty home so think twice before telling everyone exactly where you are.
Our advice: Post your pictures after you’ve returned from holidays or send them privately to close friends and family. You can use the ‘friends only’ setting, but be cautious as you can’t control how your friends use their social media.
3. Your home address
Having a housewarming party and decide to post the details on social media? Bad idea. These status updates appear on peoples’ news feeds regularly, presenting criminals with an opportunity to note down where you live. However, ‘geotagging’ also does this for you, sometimes without you realising.
Our advice: Change the location settings on your phone and remove any geotags. You should also never reveal your home address on any social media platforms unless it’s privately to someone you know and trust.
4. Your phone number
Yes, the internet is great and the fact that any of your friends can find your mobile number via social media channels is convenient but it could also be visible to the wrong person and they could access personal accounts using your phone number. They could also use it to scam you with deceiving calls, texts and voicemails.
Our advice: Be aware of the dangers of oversharing byremoving your phone number from social media. Only share your personal number for close friends and family.
5. Password clues
Let’s face facts, online security questions aren’t that strong. We’ll have options to choose from such as the name of your first pet, your childhood best friend and the city or town where you grew up. I’m guessing if we all looked through our social media profiles we could find this information easily and if we can
Thieves can learn your patterns, routines, likes, dislikes and very sensitive information by scrolling through your social media. Nearly every aspect of your life is on display so answers to online security questions wouldn’t be that hard to crack.
Our advice: Use common sense and be cautious about what you share. Be mysterious when it comes to your online persona. There is a such thing as TMI – Too much information.
Eyes and ears are everywhere so we have to consciously be aware of what we say and think before we post and share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and every other social networking channel we use.
Finally, it’s been known for people to post pictures of their bank cards on social media (yes, that does happen!) So, unless you’d like to be robbed, we strongly urge you not to do this.