Words cannot describe how relax I feel when I stay home, brew a hot cup of tea, and binge watch Keeping up with the Kardashians. But what truly gives me life is surrounding myself with people and sharing my life with them. I can say without hesitation that I am the epitome of an extrovert.
There are times when I know I should feel complete shame and embarrassment for my actions, but I can’t help it, I love being the center of attention. From here, it’s easy to say that I love being on social media. Let me tell you that stereotype is totally without a doubt one million percent true. If I’m not on Facebook messaging my friends, I’m probably on Instagram posting photos of where I am, who I’m with, and most likely what I’m eating.
However, I’m not oblivious to the world around me. There are some details of my life that I will never share on the Internet. Yes, posting photos and networking online is completely fine. But sharing certain information can put you at risk.
1) Your Birth Date and Place
Although it is definitely a major ego booster when a friend or colleague posts on my Facebook wall wishing me a happy birthday, but sharing your actual birth date and place can lead to another issue. By providing the place and year you were born, you’re aiding thieves in stealing your identity. A study done by Carnegie Mellon University showed that your birth date and place could be used to predict your social security number.
2) Vacation Plans
There is no better way to say, “Rob me, please” than posting something that says “Countdown to Maui: two days!” By posting where you’re going, when you’re going, and for how long, you are essentially inviting criminals to break into your house and steal all your belongings.
3) Home Address
Do I even have to explain? Social media users put themselves at risk of identity theft because of the information they share. According to the Ponemon Institute, about 40% of those who have been recently robbed posted their street addresses on social networking sites and about 65% of them didn’t even bother blocking out strangers’ access with privacy settings.
You may hate your part-time job, despise your teachers, or be a recreational user of illegal drugs, but social media is not the place to confess. Employers commonly use social media sites to decide whom to hire, and in some cases, whom to fire.
5) Password clues
As of now, I have a Gmail account, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and I’ve answered many different security questions about my mother’s maiden name, what my favorite song is, etc. If you have some of that information on your Facebook profile, you’re giving crooks an easy way to guess your passwords.
As shocking as it may seem, this information isn’t meant to scare you. It’s simply a way for our generation to realize the faults in our actions. There is no doubt that everyone has the right to post what they want, say what they want, and do what they want. But at the same time, just because we are young does not mean we are invincible to the world around us.