There’s no argument that Facebook is the gateway to connecting to the digital world.
Facebook is an easy-to-navigate social media outlet that makes communicating with your loved ones a simple task. It lets reach out to old acquaintances and form relationships with new, like-minded people. But before you can start connecting with your peers, you have to load basic information to your profile page.
The idea of sharing your personal details for the world to see might be intimidating, but Facebook security settings allow you to choose exactly who you want to be able to view what information.
Unfortunately, in the process of adding “friends” on Facebook, it’s very possible to add people you don’t actually know. That means complete strangers could have access to your personal info. That’s why you should never share the following details about yourself on social media:
1. Your full birthdate and place
Sharing your birthday on Facebook might seem harmless, but think again. A study from Carnegie Mellon University revealed posting your full date and place of birth could lead thieves to discovering and stealing your Social Security number. The researchers plugged the specific material into a publicly-available database and found algorithms that pointed them to accurate SSNs.
- Your mother’s maiden name
Many websites provide security questions to allow access to your account in case of a forgotten password. One of the common questions is “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” If you post this information on Facebook, you’re essentially providing your friends with the answer to the clue that gives access to your private bank accounts, wireless service providers and more. Keep in mind that if your mother is on Facebook as well, there is a good chance she may use her maiden name on her profile as well, also giving people that information as well. It’s best to avoid the “mother’s maiden name” security question altogether whenever possible.3. Your address
When you post your full address on Facebook, you’re giving burglars an invitation to your home. Because of the advances in GPS tracking, Lifewire said criminals can easily plug your information into a website like Google Maps, which has an option for “street view.” This allows anyone to view the entrance, location of security cameras and the vehicle you drive – all key elements for planning out a breaking-and-entering mission.
- Your phone number
If you want your Facebook friends to contact you via telephone, send a private message with your phone number. Don’t post it for everyone to see. A stranger could look up your digits on a reverse phone number tool and narrow down your location.5. A status revealing you’re on vacation
Notifying your Facebook friends that you’re going away on vacation isn’t the best idea, according to The New York Times. By broadcasting this information, you’re just telling the world that your house is empty, which is pure bait for a burglar.
Using social networking makes connecting with your loved ones easy, but it can take a turn for the worse if you’re not being careful. Conceal personal information and use the security settings to your advantage.
Fortunately for Southgate residents, residing in a senior living community helps prevent security issues that stem from posting your address or revealing you’re on vacation. However, these other points are extremely valid and caution should be taken to avoid them.
Southgate also offers our residents monthly computer classes covering issues such as online security, computer skills using iPads or mobile devices, and more. For the dates and times of these classes, please see our monthly event calendar.