Sharing information on social media has become a double-edged sword. It’s fun to share things about our lives to keep up connected to our friends and family, but sometimes sharing too much can actually drive people away and may also compromise our personal safety.

Nowadays, there are many ways to share things about our lives — Facebook for our thoughts and likes, Instagram for our pictures, Foursquare for our location check-ins. There is an appropriate social media network for sharing nearly every aspect of our lives.

So, here’s the big question — at what point does sharing too much information online can pose a security threat? Read on to learn more.

When It Provides Your Current Location

Oversharing can become a real personal safety issue when it comes to sharing your present location. You have to decide, whenever you “check-in” while you’re out and about or on vacation, whether the risk of letting potential strangers know where you are at the moment is something you are willing to live with.

Think of this — when you post a geotagged selfie while you’re on vacation, you are letting everyone know that you are not at home. A criminal trolling social media sites for this type of opportunity might take notice, locate your address, and rob your house while you’re away.

Posting your location on social media is just like a porch light left on during daytime, or a newspaper left in the driveway, which are indications that you’re not home during that time. Social media vacation posts are worse because they confirm you are gone (and not just too lazy to get the newspaper). They may also give criminals a timeline to work with. If you post while you’re on a vacation in a relatively far off place, then they are pretty sure that you won’t be home in the next 8 to 10 hours.

When It Puts Your Family Members or Loved Ones at Risk

Do you tag others in your pictures or your status updates when they are with you? This may seem harmless, but it can be a form of oversharing, which could put them at risk. If you are on vacation and you tag another family member in a photo who is also on vacation, then you have just placed them at that same location, thus giving up their current whereabouts. This is harmful for the same reason that was mentioned earlier.

Tagging other people’s children is also not advisable to do because those people may not want their children’s identity to be easily shown to potential criminals. Even if you tag them instead, and don’t use their child’s name, you are establishing who their parents are. Predators and cybercriminals may use this information to lure their victims or use it as part of a pretext to gain trust.

Keep your tags to yourself and don’t bring other people into your location check-ins without their permission.

When It Puts Your Job in Jeopardy

Whenever you talk about your work in social media, you could potentially putting your job at risk, especially if you are discussing something very confidential or negative about your boss or the company that you’re working for. Companies take social media very seriously and won’t take kindly to it when you say something bad about them. As an employee, you are a representative of who you work for, and your words and actions could potentially cause harm to the company.

You might be able to delete or hide your negative post, but that may be too late if somebody has taken a screenshot of it and have already forwarded it to your boss or to the local news. You might also talk about something that is company proprietary information or divulge something that may seem irrelevant to you, but might give the competitors an advantage. Example: say you discuss a missed deadline for a product launch. A competitor might pick up on this and push to get their product out before yours.

The bottom line here is: think about the potential impact that sharing something online might have on yourself and others before sharing it to the world.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 6:42:25 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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