What are you watching on TV? Where are you right now?
Every day, more and more people are signing up to social media, and are tweeting and sending status updates like mad. We bare our souls to Facebook, Twitter, and many other social networks – from what we’re having for dinner, to political views and personal highs and lows.
It’s all innocent enough, isn’t it? But in our thirst to be sociable, just what are we exposing ourselves to?
A recent spat on Twitter between Duncan Bannatyne and Sharon Gooner got me thinking. The vitriol and bad feeling which built up as followers took sides was palpable. And some of the tweets flying around are certainly not suitable for reprint here. What started as an allegedly silly ‘pun’ about something personal to Duncan, became a hurtful war of words. Which even had the gruff ‘dragon’ considering leaving Twitter altogether.
So how do we stay safe and protect our identities? Just what should and shouldn’t we share with the world at large? Well, here are a few tips:
You may hate your job; be a recreational user of illicit drugs; but Facebook and Twitter are not the place to confess. Employers commonly peruse social networking sites to determine who to hire — and, sometimes, who to fire. And it’s not just employers. Think about the type of personal information you share – close friends may be supportive, but others may be sniggering or using it to your disadvantage.
2. Use a Strong Password
Avoid simple names or words you can find in a dictionary, even with numbers tacked on the end. Instead, mix upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
3. Risky Behaviors
Had a few beers last night, and drove the car home? Is your favourite pastime hang-gliding or off-piste skiing? Think carefully before you tweet or update your status. Technology is fast evolving, and may soon see Insurers turning to the web to find out whether their applicants and customers are putting their lives or property at risk!
4. Holiday Plans
We’ve all done it: “Can’t wait to be in Greece for two weeks of sun”, “Enjoying a cocktail on the sun terrace”. This is a sure fire way of letting people – including burglars – know if you are away. Post the photos on Facebook and Flickr when you return, if you like. But don't invite criminals in by telling them specifically when you'll be gone.
For the full list of precautions to take, read this article: