Billions of people around the globe use Facebook, which makes the social network quite powerful. And that’s exactly why you should exercise caution when using it.
Although Facebook claims user privacy as a top priority, some things are better not shared.
The recent data leaks made many people rethink just how much of their lives they’re willing to entrust to Facebook. Some users have even deleted their accounts altogether.
It doesn’t mean you have to do the same. But it does mean you should really think about who you’re sharing your data with.
Here are 12 things that shouldn’t be on Facebook:
1. Your birthday.
Your birthday, along with your name and address, can be used to access your bank account and personal details. You don’t want that.
2. Your phone number.
The best-case scenario is you’ll gain a polite admirer. The worst case, though, is a stalker who calls you all the time.
3. Most of your “friends.”
Oxford psychology professor Robin Dunbar claims that humans can maintain approximately 150 stable relationships. After looking at 3,375 Facebook users, Dunbar found that of their Facebook friends, 4.1 were considered dependable, and 13.6 exhibited sympathy during an “emotional crisis.”
Get rid of the ballast to make your social-media interaction more meaningful.
4. Photos of your children / young family members.
Victoria Nash, acting director of the Oxford Internet Institute, posed a really good question on this subject, and it’s to do with consent:
“What type of information would children want to see about themselves online at a later date?”
Previous generations never had to consider this, but the advent of the internet and social media has made this question truly important.
5. Where your child / young family member goes to school.
A recent report by the British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said:
“Police recorded 36,429 sexual offences against children in the U.K. in 2013/2014… in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland police recorded the highest number of sexual offences against children in the past decade.”
The last thing you want is to give an opportunity for a sex offender to find out what school your kids go to.
6. Location tags.
Location tags are usually published automatically when you’re posting from a smartphone.
In 2015, over 500 million users accessed Facebook solely from mobile devices. This means that all of them potentially broadcast their location online, and anyone who may or may not wish you harm now knows where are you.
7. Your boss.
This one’s a classic. Facebook is a social media platform, and to some degree your interactions should be relaxed.
But your boss can access your wall and read every one of your status updates—yep, including the ones where you were complaining about work.
Sure, you can set your preferences to exclude your boss from a certain update, but isn’t that too much bother?
8. Your location at home.
People forget the fact that manually tagging your location at home actually gives away their address.
9. Dates and destinations of future vacations.
Some insurance companies don’t accept insurance claims from people who were burgled while they were away if they posted their vacation plans on social media.
10. Your relationship status.
If you want to celebrate your new relationship, don’t do it on Facebook.
It may not work out, and the consequent “in a relationship” to “single” status change will make you feel even worse.
11. Credit card details.
Just no. This is never a good idea.
12. Boarding pass pictures.
Taking a photo of your boarding pass is often a way to brag about your vacation, but it’s a pretty dumb thing to do. The barcode on your boarding pass is unique to you, and can be used to find the information you gave to the flight company.
If you’re using Facebook, do it responsibly!