If you have a Facebook, chances are, you over-share. Many do but it can get you into trouble. Potential employers, romantic interests, insurance companies, and even doctors can look up your information any time they want to (and they usually do).
Here are 10 things you shouldn’t post on Facebook:
1. Your Phone Number
Let’s assume most of the people on your friends list are, in fact, your friends. This means they already have your phone number. Putting your phone number on Facebook isn’t just the equivalent of being listed in the local phone book; it’s like being listed all over the world. Depending on your privacy settings, just about anyone who has a mind to can contact you. This includes your exes, a stalker, or an identity thief who could use the information he finds on your profile to call you, pretend to be someone you know, and rope you into a scam. It happens.
2. A Link to Other Social Sharing Sites
Linking your Facebook profile to your LinkedIn page can backfire if you post an update or photo you don’t want future employers to see. Avoid linking your social profiles together so you can keep your personal and your professional life separate.
3. Your Full Date of Birth and Place of Birth
All an identity thief needs is your full date of birth and place of birth to find your social security number and open a credit card in your name. In lieu of deleting it completely, be sure you’re the only one who can see your date of birth. Your birthday will still show up in your friends’ newsfeed so they can send you well wishes.
4. Your Weekend Errand Plans
There’s really no point in announcing to your friends that you plan to go to the post office, to the movies, and then to the grocery store. Letting everyone know you’ll be away from home can be tempting to thieves who may be just watching and waiting for an easy mark. This goes doubly if you have loose privacy settings and are friends with strangers.
5. Your Vacation Plans
Updating your plans for a vacation, complete with dates you’ll be away is like leaving the door wide open to burglars. Again, this depends on your privacy settings and friends list. Just remember, that friend of friend whose cousin once went to school with your uncle could moonlight as a thief on his off-hours. After all, you’ve never met him.
6. Inappropriate Photos
Even if you have really strict privacy settings, posting photos of you and your partner getting it on, naked photos, and photos of you and your buddies smoking pot is not a good idea and could get you banned from Facebook (and possibly arrested). Keep it PG.
7. Risque Confessionals
Facebook is not the place to brag about the amazing sex you just had, how high you are, or how you managed a five-finger discount a pack of cigarettes from the gas station down the street without getting caught. Again, your boss, your mother, your former teacher, and even the police can access this information.
8. Your Child’s Name and Photos
This might seem a bit of stretch but posting your child’s name and photos can make them a target for identity thieves and pedophiles alike. This can be especially dangerous if you have lax privacy settings.
9. Photos of Your Valuables
You may not do it on purpose but posing for a photo while wearing a Rolex and standing in front of your wife’s jewelry box brimming with pearls and diamonds could invite thieves to salivate over your profile and wait for the next time you’ll be out. Take a quick glance around your home before snapping a photo so you don’t accidentally give too much away.
10. Rants About Your Job and its Policies
This should be a no-brainer, especially if you’re Facebook friends with your boss or colleagues. Still, you’d be surprised how many people spout off in the heat of the moment without realizing who can see it. There are plenty of stories going around the Internet about people who’ve done just this and promptly lost their jobs.
What about you? Is your Facebook like Fort Knox or an open book?