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social media digitalSocial Media: We all use it, but do any of us really spend the time educating ourselves on the possible consequences? Sure, we want to have fun. However, sometimes one may become a little bit too comfortable with what they’re posting on social networks. Being too laissez faire online can lead to many personal and professional problems. Educate yourself and protect your privacy with these tips.

 

Employers

It’s no secret prospective employers and current employers are snooping for information on you. Posting about activities that may come across as negative to employers could hurt you in the long run. Current employers may find out that you called in this morning because you were actually hung over, and didn’t really—cough cough—have a scratchy throat. And future employers may find out you made a political statement that conflicts with company ideologies.
Consider making a rule to not befriend your managers, as they may be more curious about you than you think they are. Also, tone down your profile picture. You know, the one where you’re hanging on to a bottle of tequila at the club dance floor after a shot of Fireball? Switch it to something classy and professional, since it will leave an impression on those who search for you, even if your profile is private.

 

Identity Thieves

Identity theft can happen in a variety of ways. You could get your card skimmed at the gas pump or ATM, you could accidentally drop a piece of paper with sensitive information on it or you could have your password to your online accounts stolen.
Identity thieves can find out a lot about you just by the information you may already have on your profile. They have ways of filling in the blanks, so you should consider deleting your address, mobile phone number or any information that could be used for banking site security questions, such as your mother’s maiden name, hometown, street you grew up on, etc.
Though you try all you can, sometimes identity thieves will stop at nothing. Do what you can on your own, then consider getting identity theft protection from a company like LifeLock so you feel that extra layer of security. After all, when you’re submitting forms online, you may not know if the information is being intercepted somewhere along the way.

 

Cat Burglars

You never know who you may have met on a social network who could possibly end up tracking everything you do. Wanna show off an awesome meal at a hot new restaurant? Or maybe show off a video from a music festival you’ll be at all weekend? Think twice before you tag your location and whereabouts. You don’t want to compromise your feeling of safety and security if someone may know you’re not home. It also opens up opportunities for cyber stalkers, which is equally as frightening.

If you want to be extra cautious, just don’t check in anywhere and request friends that you’re with at the time to leave you out of those check-ins as well.

In an age where there’s a share button everywhere you look,  it’s not always easy putting your profile on private. But if you want to keep burglars away, it’s important to protect your family and your home by considering the risks involved with TMI sharing.  Sometimes you just need to ask yourself – what is more important? A bunch of semi-random people thinking I’m cool for partying OR my TV, Xbox One and Dawson’s Creek DVD collection? On second thought – don’t answer that.

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