A professional investigator is encouraging social media users to take heed of what they post on Facebook, and he listed things to avoid in online posts.
“What goes on your Facebook page and other Internet sites stays available forever,” says Chris Procopis, a Stamford-based research investigator and managing director of LexPro Research. “A picture of you drunk at a frat party can follow you around for the rest of your life.”
With more time to spend on social networks during the holidays, Internet users should note that recruiters and academic institutions are seriously taking into consideration Facebook and other social networking sites to check backgrounds.
If we count identity theft and more serious security issues in social media channels, the best way to start 2013 is to ponder on what we post on websites like Facebook.
Here is Procopis’s list of what not to post online if you ever consider applying for a job or a school in the future:
- Pictures of yourself engaged in illegal or immoral acts.
- Stories that depict poor judgment or unwanted behavior on your part.
- Links to other pages that show content similar to points 1 and 2.
- Negative comments about your current employer (even if you feel these comments are legitimate, future employers will be turned off by what they see).
Users should be more aware of the personal information they reveal in social media outlets, as these are eye candy to identity thieves.
When you share personal data on Facebook, with or without privacy checks, and add people you hardly know or are complete strangers, the risk of an information leak will increase.
Earlier this month, we reported that a new tool is currently in the works to help social media users avoid identity theft by late next year.
The Internet Commerce Security Laboratory (ICSL) at the University of Ballarat in Australia is developing the new tool dubbed as IDThief, which will help social media users thwart identity thieves on the Internet.
Procopis adds that less is more when posting information about yourself and your family:
- Don’t post your date of birth, social security number, home address, or telephone number (especially if it is unlisted).
- Don’t post your child’s date of birth or birth dates of other family members.
- Don’t post times you leave your house unattended (e.g., taking your child to school every day).
- Don’t post personal information about you or your family.
- Don’t post passwords, home security codes or other sensitive information.