Privacy is one of the best things you can wish for in this modern age. But again, there’s social media, and then there’s that urge to share posts and updates with what is going on in your life. Well, it’s a bad idea to document your life in social media as that doesn’t work well with privacy. Most times you won’t be worried as malicious actors usually target high profile people. But when they cast their net, it might be your unlucky day. And since high profile people may be using sophisticated security mechanisms, malicious actors can opt to go for easy targets, and that’s where your troubles will begin.
Besides malicious actors, most companies require your data to run their business. With powerful data mining tools, your information from social media can be used to target you with intrusive ads. You can also be targeted with various scams.
To avoid all that unfortunate series of events, here are some kinds of information you should be careful with when sharing in social media;
Personally identifiable information (PII)
This is any information that can be used to identify or can be linked to a specific person. Social media was meant to connect people but nowadays its more than that. It’s a place where you can go and collect a lot of information if you’re a malicious actor.
Lots of people post PII that is not even a requirement in social media sites. For instance, why would use all your names on social media, or tell people your social security number, or about your job position in a particular company, or the name of your kids? If it’s necessary to update this information in your profile, at least make sure it’s only visible to you and not for people in the entire timeline. As a rule of thumb, you should never post/share any PII that can be linked to you specifically.
Smartphones nowadays pack powerful cameras with the ability of DSLR cameras. This means you can take high-quality clearer photos with lots of megapixels. The next step after taking an amazing photo is – of course, share it with the world via social media. Well, from today if you take a photo and want to post it on social media, ensure you have focused on the item you want to post. With the addition of portrait mode with bokeh effect (blur background), things will be easier.
Pictures become a privacy risk when they show other things in the background. That’s, you can take a picture of a cute vase you just bought online but next to it, there’s your driver’s license, or your credit card and other things that can be used to identify you. If you can’t crop the unintended item, use emojis to cover the details that shouldn’t be on social media.
Location is very vital information that should not be shared in social media unless it’s necessary. Besides your privacy, sharing your physical location can cause physical harm and damage. For instance, if you post or tag your pictures/post that you are on vacations, malicious actors in your neighborhood can break into your house and steal whatever they want. If you want to post your sweet vacation pictures, do it after you are safely home.
Also, always disable geo-tagging as this service reveals your location. Also, review your tagging settings as your fellow vacation mates might tag you in their photos, and that can be a privacy risk.
Use a VPN – IPBurger VPN
A VPN is necessary when safeguarding your internet connection, especially when accessing your social media accounts from an unsecured public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is a hub for malicious people, and with various techniques such as eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks, they can easily acquire your username and passwords by intercepting your internet traffic. When using a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted and tunneled through secure servers. This makes it hard for malicious actors to intercept your internet traffic and gain access to your accounts.