We probably all know a few people who are guilty of sharing far too much information on the social networking site (you’ve fallen out with your “best friend” for the third time this week? I just don’t care, Sarah), but you too may have put too much of your personal life on Facebook.
It turns out that some of the life info you reveal on social media could put you at serious risk of being hacked or worse.
Now, digital gurus on the Kim Komando Show have revealed the five details you shouldn’t be letting Mark Zuckerberg and his team know…
1) Your phone number
Adding your home or mobile number to your Facebook page is a minefield for prank callers, stalkers, scammers and identity thieves. There’s also a little known trick that anybody can actually search your phone number and find you on Facebook.
One security researcher, Reza Moaiandin, showed how this could be exploited when he wrote a program to generate every possible number in the U.S., UK and Canada, submitted the numbers to Facebook and got back information from millions of profiles that had poor privacy settings. He could have easily hacked these profiles or sold the information to those who would, if he was so inclined.
So, basically, if you do add your phone number to your profile, make sure its hidden!
2) Your home address
Let’s face it, who hasn’t posted a photo of them chilling in their house or of a recent vacation or a major new purchase on their Facebook page? Turns out it’s a really bad idea – after all, it definitely wouldn’t be a good thing if somebody with bad intentions on their mind got hold of your home address.
To avoid this, go to the ‘Contact and Basic Information’ section of your profile and, if there is an address set under ‘Neighbourhood’, get rid of it!
3) Anything work-related
Your timeline is probably flooded with people moaning about something that happened at work today or even how much they hate their jobs but, it turns out, that revealing your place of work is a bad idea.
Besides the fact that a fellow employee might find a photo or post they don’t like, thus making your work life pretty awkward, there’s also the issue that it could make a hacker’s job much easier. If they wanted to find out how to hack into a workplace’s computers, social media would be their first stop.
4) Your relationship status
It’s kind of uncomfortable for us all when somebody writes about the dramatic breakdown of their marriage on Facebook, or when you see how many likes the latest couple’s engagement announcement receives, but there’s more to this one than just being annoyed/pleased that someone else’s life is going better/worse than yours.
You see, certain relationship statuses can also be a draw for cyber stalkers and scam artists. Basically, if you’re single, don’t get conned by someone who just wants your money. Either remove the info from your profile altogether or, at the very least, be careful out there!
5) Your payment information
Facebook is a free site but it still wants your credit card details, so it can direct you to buying gift cards and the like straight through the website.
Again, it’s probably not the best idea to share your bank details on the site, given that it could be exploited by hackers or a drunk friend who finds them after you’ve forgotten to log out of your profile.
Get rid of this info by going to ‘Settings’, then ‘Payments’ and the ‘Account Settings’ tab. If you have any saved payment information on there, it’s probably best to delete it.
Experienced Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager, with over eight years working in social media, paid social, website management, blogging and marketing.