Facebook Status: Away on Vacation

Social media is great for a lot of things.  Sharing photos, reconnecting with old friends, finding like-minded people and groups to share ideas and hobbies.  But when does sharing become oversharing?

Hackers gain access to your personal data via your profile and the information you share there – and you don’t even realize it’s happening.  Photos with your children and pets with identifying names on them, locations of where you’ve been, or where you are currently on vacation.

By posting this all and not ensuring that your profile is private or protected, you are handing over valuable information that attackers can use to guess passwords or hack your accounts while you are away on vacation, – and likely less engaged with the day to day happenings – like bank account deductions. Not away on vacation? That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook either.

Tagged in a photo from that recent work conference?  Now they know where you work and what you do for a living.  Some people even post detailed resumes online that give away an incredible amount of information.

While your likes and dislikes can create online engagement for you, it can also be a goldmine for marketing agencies and now cybercriminals who can not only guess your whereabouts and possible login information, but they can also create duplicate (fake) online profiles using all of the personal information you’ve shared.  Using professional headshots only adds to their bank of resources and credibility.

How to Avoid Oversharing

Make sure your profile security is set to the strictest parameters available.  Do not allow yourself to be “tagged” without approval.  Do not indicate when you are traveling – wait until you are home to share photos and stories.

Professionally speaking, give details that are headlines, but not entire outlined details of your experience and career.

Social media isn’t going away, and the power it holds can be used for wonderful things to enrich your life.  Just be sure that you aren’t giving away too much to the wrong people.

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