During World War II the government issued several posters warning citizens not to speak too freely with strangers. The campaign was born out of the fear that anyone could be looking for information and then could use that information against you. Although these posters now often are collected as pieces of art, their message is still appropriate. In the age of social media madness, people have begun to share surprisingly intimate details about their lives.
This sudden rush towards complete openness has left many people with tattered online reputations which haunt them in their real lives. Some even leave themselves open to criminal damage. While there are ways to get help with reputation management, individuals must still be careful that they are not making themselves a target for criminal activity. When sharing things online, there are some things which should never be posted or discussed on a forum as public as the internet.
Specifics on Vacation and Holiday Plans
Mentioning specific dates and time for out of town holiday plans is definitely a Social Media ‘Don't’. Some people even make their social calendars publicly viewable on media and public websites. These calendars can be used by absolutely anyone to pinpoint exactly when you're gone and your home is empty. Don't give out dates for plans and never broadcast the fact that your home will be empty.
You’re Dirty Laundry
Sometimes in the heat of the moment it's easy to say something online that you'll eventually regret, particularly when you're upset about a personal matter. But airing personal arguments online never makes you look good to others. More importantly, once the argument has passed and you've patched things up, all those nasty comments will still be viewable online.
Work Grievances and Little White Lies
Its one thing to complain about work with colleagues or close friends in person, but posting it online can do more than make you look bad; it could cost you your job. That's exactly what happened to Kevin Colvin in October of 2007. Kevin had called off work and later his boss saw photos of him from that same day attending a Halloween party. Social media websites make it easy for your personal life to become very public. Many people connect with both friends and colleagues through the same account and, as a result, information is bound to cross over.
Personal Contact or Financial Information
Upset that your credit card company increased the interest rate on your Gold Card? Angry about how your bank is treating you? Thrilled about the new store card you picked up? Keep it to yourself. Blasting out details regarding accounts you have may be interesting to fellow shoppers or even close family but it can also be read by complete strangers. The same thing goes for your own personal contact information. There's no need for your home address or personal phone number to be listed on any public website.
Passwords … or Hints!
Of course passwords should never be posted online but you may be surprised how often they are. Also posted are answers to the Password Hints questions many websites use as a security measure. Quite often these questions are things like 'What was your first pet's name?' This is also the kind of information some people include on their social media pages. So if you have an old photo of you as a kid and little Fido the dog, change your password hint question and delete the photo from public view.
One way to prevent needing to get help with reputation management is by protecting your personal life when online. Giving out too much information through websites may seem like a way to connect with family and friends, but it can also be a way to make your life a lot more complicated or even make yourself vulnerable to crime.
Tina works from home as a freelance writer. She enjoys reading about and writing on a wide variety of topics and works with a number of different clients researching on the internet. Her famous articles includes article on help with reputation management. She loves to travel and make new friends.
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