WHAT YOU MUST NEVER SHARE ONLINE
We are addicted to social media and eager to share our everyday activities, events, special memories online. but sometimes you need to be careful while sharing information beacuse that information may cause you a trouble. So here are some tips on what you must never share online.
“Only three more sleeps until we fly to Australia for two weeks!” may seem like harmless excitement over your forthcoming holiday but when posted on social media, it’s tantamount to saying “My house will be empty! Help yourself to everything inside!”.
Facebook even has a ‘travelling to’ option that lets you tell people you’re the plane – like an alert to burglars to warm up the van.
Similarly, sharing photos and videos of you and your family sunning yourselves in exotic locations and ‘checking into’ restaurants and attractions are surefire giveaways that you’ll be a long way from home for some time.
It’s much wiser to be discreet about your holiday plans and activities until you’re back, no matter how fabulous they might be.
If you must share your getaway glee with friends, then do it privately via a messaging service such as WhatsApp, not online where criminals can see.
When your tickets arrive for a hotly anticipated concert, festival or sporting event, you may want to boast by posting a photo on social media, so your friends can share your delight and express their envy. But try to resist the temptation.
Nearly all tickets these days feature a barcode or QR code that’s scanned on the door to permit your entry to the venue.
Someone could easily use the picture you share to create a duplicate ticket and potentially invalidate your genuine one if they get to the event before you.
So if you must shout about attending the gig of a lifetime, don’t blow it by giving away your ticket – or at least crop or blur the photo before uploading.
FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION
Posting a picture of your driving licence to celebrate passing your test, or your new passport to bemoan the awful photo, may get you lots of ‘likes’ but it also hands sensitive data to passing scammers, including your full name, date and place of birth, and the unique identification number of the document itself.
Within hours, copies of your licence or passport could be circulating on the Dark Web.
Either use an image editor to obscure these details before you upload the image, or don’t share it at all.
Now we are going to see the most important things of what you must never share online
CREDIT & DEBIT CARDS
It’s common sense not to publicly share a photo of your bank or credit card on which the account number and expiration date are clearly visible, but people still do it!
There’s even a now-defunct Twitter feed (@NeedADebitCard) dedicated to examples of chumps who were so keen to tell – and show – the world that their new card had arrived that they didn’t consider the consequences.
Even without the CVV (card verification value) number on the back, fraudsters can still use details from a photo of a card to steal your money and your identity, so don’t take the risk.
YOUR HOME ADDRESS
Obviously, family members and close friends know where you live, but revealing your home address on a public forum such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram leaves you open to stalkers, scammers, burglars, trolls and other troublemakers.
You may not even realise you’re disclosing the information – perhaps in a picture of your house in which the number is clearly visible or a geo-tagged photo posted from your abode.
It doesn’t take much effort for an online snooper to look up your address on Google Street View, so they can see exactly where you live and get directions to your doorstep.
You can remove geotagging data from images you upload from your Android phone or tablet by opening the camera app, going into Settings and switching off the option ‘Store location data’, ‘Save location’, ‘Allow location access’ or similar. On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services, Camera and tap Never.
YOUR PHONE NUMBER
With ‘robocalls’ (automated messages from telemarketing companies) an increasing menace, it’s essential to keep your phone number off the web, but that’s easier said than done.
Facebook requires your number to enable two-factor authentication, and this is then linked with your profile, which means people can “look you up”.
Even if you don’t tell Facebook your phone number, it may still be added when your friends share their contacts with the social network.
To protect your privacy, first click About on your Facebook profile page, then hover over your phone number in the ‘Contact & basic info section’ and click Edit.
Here you can decide exactly who can see your phone number or remove it altogether. Next, go into your account settings (www.facebook.com/settings), click Privacy and change the setting ‘Who can look you up using the phone number you provided’ from Everyone to Friends.
YOUR DATE OF BIRTH
We all like receiving birthday messages, especially from people we don’t hear from very often, but there’s no need to provide your date of birth on your social-media profile all year round.
This has got nothing to do with nosy parkers knowing how old you are and everything to do with identity theft. Anyone can use the combination of your real name and your real birthdate to pretend to be you and gain access to all manner of your private information.
Keep the year of your birth secret, and preferably the day as well, at least until your birthday approaches.
To hide this info on Facebook, go to your profile page, click About and, under Basic Information, hover your mouse over ‘Year of birth’. Click the privacy symbol, choose ‘Only me’ from the drop-down menu (or Custom to let specific friends see this detail) and click Save Changes.
It’s not illegal to upload a video to the web without the consent of the people who appear in it, unless the clip contains obscene content or is intended to cause distress (such as with ‘revenge porn’).
However, from an ethical point of view, publicly sharing a personal video of someone without asking their permission is pretty dubious, especially if they can be easily identified and are likely to be embarrassed.
YouTube offers a tool that automatically detects faces in videos and lets you blur people who might not want to be recognised – click Edit Video, Editor, Add Blur and choose the faces to conceal.
But if you’re in any doubt, don’t share the video until you obtain the subjects’ consent – especially if the footage features anyone under the age of 18.
I hope you liked the article on what you must never share online.
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