Sharing has always been a prominent part of what the Internet is and how it functions. And with social networks exploding in popularity in the past several years, sharing is probably the one aspect we utilize the most on the web. We share news, information, pictures and experiences, and by doing this we can build and maintain relationships as well as create new connections that we would have otherwise never met or worked with. But can this have adverse effects? Can you share too much information?
The internet can be dangerous
The Internet dangerous, on different levels. In fact, in some ways it can be even more dangerous because we don’t think of it in the applicable sense that it can be a tool to pry into lives. We think it’ll all be fine, but there are numerous stories of tragedies because someone allowed a little too much information to be shared with the wrong person.
Never underestimate people’s ability to connect the dots
Don’t ever underestimate people’s ability to connect the dots, when they really want to. Do you use your child’s or dog’s name as your password? Well, you shouldn’t, but if you do anyway, it’s not as hard for people to guess as you might think. If you’ve share password hints on Facebook, or even the passwords themselves in the form of names or dates, don’t be surprised if someone manages to put 2 and 2 together.
Be careful of your geolocation
We all know that smartphones can track our GPS coordinates, but did you know that your browser can also track where you are? That’s how social networks like Twitter and Facebook are able to know where you are when you post new tweets or status updates. This is called geolocation.
The thing is, malicious individuals can use your geolocation information to track you down and stalk you. Or they can use it to collect even more personal data and release it publicly. Do you really want your home location on the Internet where everyone can see?
Be very careful of the data you are sharing
It’s not uncommon for people on social media to accidentally post private information through public channels, and most of the time the repercussions are minor — but you have to be particularly careful when that information is business related. Sharing your full birth date and place on Facebook can lead to privacy breaches, and in extreme cases, even identity theft. It’s not necessary that you should become super paranoid about everything, but this kind of information does not belong on the Web, where anyone at all can see it
Spilling confidential details on social media — even accidentally — is not something you want to be caught doing. The same holds true if you’re privy to inside information at work: who’s going to be laid off next week, what kind of strategy your company will have for the New Year, etc. If you aren’t authorized to share it, you really can’t share it. Otherwise you may find yourself in legal trouble.
It’s important that you don’t air your grievances on social media either. If you want to complain about your boss or co-workers, social media is not where you want to do it. It’s just too likely that someone will see it.
Be responsible about who you share with and what you share. Think of the Internet as a giant space where people of all sorts roam. If this space was a real place that you were in, would you trust everyone with all your secrets, personal information, etc.? Probably not. “When in doubt, leave it out” is a good motto to follow.
Social networking is all about sharing, so something you think is in confidence can easily be shared and then shared again, and before you know it, someone you don’t even know has access to something private. You can do something about your online privacy. You don’t have to have technical skills, just take the time to familiarize yourself with your different accounts’ privacy policies and settings. And if you have any questions regarding them, most services and websites would be more than happy to help clarify and answer any questions or concerns you may have. But for the larger part of it it’s better for you to stay safe about your online security.
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