In the era of social media, it seems like many people’s lives are an open book. Every day, they share their personal thoughts, opinions, activities, travel plans, photos, etc. for everyone to see on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Like most things in life, while there are positives to the ease at which we all have access to information, there are also negatives to making your information readily available. With that in mind, here are some social media sharing habits that you might not have realized put you at risk.
When adding a post on Facebook and Instagram, or a tweet on Twitter, the social media sites give users the option of including location data. This allows anyone who sees the post or tweet to know where the user was when they added it. Sometimes these location tags go as far as to include the exact address of the location. That’s a problem when they allow others to find out your home address by matching it with the location of your posts and tweets.
In the same vein as geolocation tags, checking in to locations on apps like Facebook allows potential burglars to know when you’re not at home. On top of that, it lets them know where you are and where you like to frequent. That provides them with other sources for potential data points to use in order to access your financial accounts.
It’s Your Birthday
The problem with birthdays is that financial institutions often use it to authenticate their clients. This makes it an obvious potential data point for thieves to use to get into your accounts. Many people make their birthdate readily available by including it in their social media profiles. If you’re one of them, then make sure to at least avoid using the date as your password or PIN.
Sharing A Photo With Personal or Financial Data In It
This should go without saying, but you might be surprised at the sensitive data that some people put out to the public. Individuals have shared excited photos of themselves with their newly-acquired driver’s license or credit card, and even old bills that they’re happy to have finally paid off. On top of exposing their names, account numbers, and home addresses for anyone to see, they also open their selves up for identity thieves to easily get ahold of their information and make their way into their accounts.
Social media makes it easier than ever to share every aspect of our lives, but it’s up to every individual to be careful about the information they put out into the world. It could just as easily be used against you.