1. Your Job, Boss & Colleagues
Speaking of potential job hazards, never post anything negative about your employer, boss or colleagues; past or present. Even on private accounts, these things still have a way of getting out (in fact, we’ve seen it happen). Also refrain from posting any important or confidential information about your job or company – celebrating your career achievements, and those of your fellow co-workers, is great, but only if your employer is happy with that information being made public. If at all in doubt, check first.
2. Your Beef & Dirty Laundry
Whether it’s a cryptic tweet making a sly dig at your ex, full-out insult slanging matches with strangers on Facebook, or simply taking to social media every time your train is delayed, airing your dirty laundry online is a no-no. Put simply, it just makes you look bad. The same goes for complaining to brands on Twitter – yes, it’s often far quicker than a 40-minute call to customer service, but direct messaging the company in question (or at least deleting the tweets after the issue is revolved) will have your feed looking far more appealing to potential employers, clients and anyone else that should happen to see it.
3. Your Bank Cards & Documents
It may seem too obvious to even mention, but we’ve seen a shocking number of people make this very mistake on our own Insta feeds. From ‘Yay, my new bank card arrived’ to ‘Look how bad my new passport photo is’, it seems common sense is still failing quite a few of us. Basically, never post any important documents, letters, bank cards or any other financial information anywhere online – even if your account is private.
4. Your Address & Current Location
You might never dream of posting a letter or document with your full address on, but still may well have disclosed where you live. And it’s all thanks to geotagging – that little tool, especially popular on Instagram, that lets you tell the world exactly where you are. Never tag anywhere as ‘home’, and ensure any guests don’t tag their location when they’re at your house either. As for when you’re out and about, it’s always worth waiting until a little after you’ve left a restaurant/bar/museum to post and tag that Instagram shot.
5. Your Holiday Plans
If your house is empty while you’re away, telling the whole world the exact dates you’re going on holiday and due to arrive home isn’t the smartest idea. You never know who could use that information to plan a break-in (remember the same goes for overnight plans in Blighty too). On the plus side, refraining from posting about your trip every five minutes and saving some photos for when you get back also stops you from becoming that #humblebragging friend everyone wants to unfollow.
6. Your Daily Schedule
Much like your vacation plans, your daily schedule shouldn’t be shared online. For two obvious reasons – one being that it alerts potential burglars to your movements, allowing them to easily work out when you won’t be around, and secondly, it allows every dangerous person with access to the internet to know where you’re likely to be at any given time. With stalking cases soaring dramatically across England and Wales over the past year, it’s worth being extra cautious.
7. Your Embarrassing Antics
Yes, it may seem funny at the time (especially so, a few proseccos deep) but that’s what your camera roll and WhatsApp groups are for – keep those hilarious memories forever, without the whole world seeing. On one hand, showing your personality and sense of humour on social media is no bad thing, but posting the wrong thing can seriously affect your future job prospects – and potentially even cost you your current role. A good rule of thumb is to imagine how you’d feel if the post flashed up on a giant screen during a job interview. Mortified? Don’t share it. And extend the same courtesy when it comes to photos and videos of friends, too.
8. Your Children’s Information
While it’s every parent’s decision what they do and don’t share about their children online, it’s wise to consider the facts before pressing ‘post’. Once a photo or piece of information is online, you lose control of it – allowing for the possibility of identity theft (in the case of birth dates and full names), and the digital harvesting of images by predators (it’s been suggested that 50% of images shared on paedophile sites have been taken from parents’ social media accounts). When it comes to other personal details about your children’s lives – such as health issues – give thought to whether they’ll want it to be public knowledge when they reach adulthood, or wish you had respected their privacy instead.
9. Your Password Hints
Think you’ve never posted your password online? You may have – whether it’s the word or number itself, or password ‘hints’ (such as your first pet’s name or mother’s maiden name) that allow people to easily change your password and gain access to your accounts, many of us are guilty. Think carefully about what your passwords and password hints really are, and either avoid accidentally giving out the information, or choose different password hints that you know you’ll never reveal, and stronger passwords with capitals, special characters and numbers.
10. Your Quiz & Game Results
No one cares about your FarmVille crops or which Game of Thrones character you really are. Please stop, for everyone’s sake.
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