Do you overshare on social network sites?

If you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram it's a question worth asking.

The days of privacy have gone, thanks to technology and the internet. Mobile phones make it possible for people to take pictures and short movies to share on Youtube or their networking sites.

Sharing Information

When it comes to sharing information online children are the top of the list. Adults, on the other hand, aren't that far behind themselves. It's also a problem that is shared in the world of business. Where keeping important information private is paramount.

People have lost their jobs because they've sent a message that should have been kept private:

e.g. A swimming coach sent a sexually explicit text message to his entire contact list, family and two young girls by accident. His intention was to send it to his girlfriend, but through a simple error he was then charged with inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He endangered his job through his mistake.

Consumer Report

A consumer report done in 2012 showed that 13 million US Facebook users overshared their personal information. This is 8 percent of 150 million US users at that time.

That equates to a lot of information floating around in cyberspace.

Social Media Reputation

Your social media "footprint" may affect the possibility of you finding a job. Before the internet existed employers had nothing more than a CV, references and job interview to go on. These days future employees are scrutinized online, to make sure they are the right candidate for the job. For many this may be a disadvantage. Before you go on a job interview make sure your media "footprint" is a good one and not something that would go against you in a job interview.

Children

Unsupervised children at the group at the most risk. The threats to children range from cyber bullying and pornography to sharing photos and videos with predators online.

Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint is extremely accessible and says a lot about you. Keep up to date with the information and photos you put of yourself online.

Follow these helpful tips to staying safe online:

  • Before you text/email/post think before you do it.
  • Privacy and security settings are there for a reason, learn about what they can do for you and your safety online.
  • Having a good reputation online can be a good thing. Master your environment and be more thoughtful online.
  • Keep all important personal information to yourself, this includes: passwords; account numbers; cell phone numbers; emails; physical addresses.
  • Keep your health status private. It should be between you and your doctor.
  • Don't give hackers a reasons to use your personal information. Keep personal information personal and not for anyone else's eyes.
  • Don't brag about your exploits or leave messages saying you're hungover when you're taking a day off work.
  • Know who you're real friends are online. Not all friends are created equal online.

Remember if you're too open hackers can use it to their own ends and commit identity fraud in your name.

So be vigilant and stay safe online!

© 2015 Helen Bolam

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