4 things you need to be seriously wary of when posting to any social network

social networking

social networking

In our current interconnected digital lifestyle where technology is used at work and at home to connect with friends, family, and colleagues, it’s crucial that you are careful in what you share and do on the social web. With the birth of smartphones and tablets you have a wealth of information at your fingertips and can instantaneously share any of this info with your social circles. With the growing rate of cyber crime involving fraud and forgery, you need to be very cautious about the information that you share online. You can’t take things lightly at the speed at which technology evolves.

The social web is largely public and we all have a tendency to share quite a lot of information on our favourite social network everyday. The information includes status updates, direct and personal messages, and posts on various groups. Facebook is the mac-daddy of all the social networks with more than 1-billion members. It’s not a big network, but a massive one used mainly for personal and business activities. By following a couple of simple guidelines, you can minimize the risk of being the target of a scammer or giving out too much personal information that can be used against you on this social networking behemoth.

Personal information
When creating a new profile on most of the social media channels including Facebook, you have to provide certain personal details to the network so that the channel can verify that you are not a robot and for other security purposes. Adding your personal details doesn’t pose any threat if you manage it correctly by altering your security settings such as making the details about you private. What information do you want to be visible to the public about you? Can this information be used against you?

Status updates
There are many people who enjoy telling everyone about almost everything that happens to them during the day through status updates. Too many posts and updates tend to annoy people. Not everyone is interested in what you are doing every hour of the day, and not everyone wants to know what you had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This isn’t so much a security caution, but a general rule of thumb. Put yourself in your connections’ shoes. Are you really going to like what you are posting every minute of the day?

Another thing to remember when posting status updates on Facebook and any other social media channel that you use is to be careful of what you share. Do you really want to upload your drunken party photos where you passed out for everyone to see? It might be funny, but what if your employer sees it?

Check-ins are still trending these days, and I have to admit that I’m still using Foursquare and Facebook Check-ins when I visit an interesting place. In a way, I believe it’s a nice feature, especially when you can post comments with your check-in, but it does add some vulnerability to your online and offline profile as it can clearly show where you are and when you are not at home.

Friend requests
You must have heard this before, but don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. You never know the intention of the person on the other side. Only add people to your network and social circle that you know and that you trust. Facebook is really an excellent social media channel and will still be around for a long time. Be careful what you share and who you share it with. It might just come back to bite you.

Anton Koekemoer


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