While we all have grown to love social networking sites and have them as a major aspect of both our personal and business lives; there is a time and a place for certain things. Today, we are going to discuss a few things we think you should watch out for when you are posting away on the internet.
Some mistakes may not hurt you all that much but some online mistakes can potentially threaten your career, your friendship, your personal imagine or even your life. So, its better that you always stay on the safe side, and prevent any kind of mishappening to occur in your life.
Know When to Use Private Messaging
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Many people seem to have forgotten about the private messaging tools. When they are upset with someone, they will make it clear and post lengthy conversations back and forth for the rest of the world to see. Yes, you can set your profile so that only certain people can view but who knows how many people may have seen the conversation, even if it was deleted quickly after it happened.
In the past, arguments were between a few people but with the help of the internet; even a minor argument can be drawn out and have long lasting effects on your life. Be careful what you post and where. Your best bet is to work out the situation in person or over the phone.
Be Cautious when Planning Events
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If you are ever planning a special event such as a birthday party, wedding or other social gathering; while it may seem that doing so on social networking sites is the simplest way to get everyone their invitation; this can actually cause problems.
What is going to happen if someone, say, one of your exes (who is out of your life for good reason) sees where you will be and at what time? This has the potential to not only be an awkward encounter if him/her was to show up but could also be life threatening.
We do not want to frighten you but there have been many reports of stalking via social networking sites. Giving out too much information as to where you are going to be at a specific time may work out fine in many cases; but you never know who may be watching so be cautious.
Be Careful What You Link
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In today’s world, many people are linking many different applications as well as websites together. This way, when you are active on one website, your other sites or apps are updated as well. While this may seem helpful to some of you, it can harm you if not done properly.
First of all, you should be careful who is able to view what. Many people have run into problems at their workplace because inappropriate content was being displayed in a way that was very easy for their bosses or colleagues to see. What could be a night of innocent fun out with your friends could easily be turned against you via a jealous coworker who feels they deserved the position more than you.
While it may seem a bit far fetched, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Before posting anything online, ask yourself if the pictures, video or data really needs to be there. Do not post things simply because ‘everyone is doing it’ because you are not everyone. You have your own unique goals, purpose in life and aspirations. Do not allow social networking to suck you in and harm you; because it truly does have the potential to do good things.
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If there is anything going on at your company that you are excited about, you may want to keep it to yourself. Mentioning that new raise could cause fellow workers to become jealous. Just like in the real world, do not mention how much you are paid; that is just a common business practice.
Angry with your boss or upset with your workplace for a change in the rules? Keep it to yourself. Sure, you can talk about it with your friends but posting things like this on social networking sites can cause you problems and could lead to your termination.
Do Not Post When Emotional
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As a good rule of thumb, never post when you are emotional; whether the emotions are good or bad. Give yourself some time to consider whether or not what you are about to post is necessary. Do you really need to tell the world how mad you are at your parents or how depressed you are because of a situation that happened today?
Sometimes less is more. Allow your page to be a personal place for you but not a diary. People who are close to you and who ‘work for’ the information will learn it. Not everyone needs to know every little detail of your life and you don’t need the additional stress of feeling regret about something you have posted that you wish you hadn’t.
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While it is fun to check in at your local hotspots and tell everyone where you are and who you are with, this can be a deadly decision. As we mentioned earlier, stalkers are out there. There may be someone from your past that is angry with you or jealous of you or maybe an individual who doesn’t even know you but feels drawn to you. It is best to mention where you were after the fact versus saying where you are at the exact moment.
Not only could an unwanted visitor show up but let’s say someone knows where you live and you mention casually that you are away from home. If said person knows your spouse and kids are away as well, they could easily break into your home. Do yourself a favor and keep yourself, your family and your possessions safe. Does everyone really need to know where you are at this exact moment? When you ask yourself this question, the answer is most likely going to be ‘no’ so save yourself the hassle and worry.
When Things Get Too Personal
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While information such as your address, phone number, password, and bank information may seem like something everyone would know to keep private; you’d be surprised just how many people give out said information without even thinking twice.
Address/Phone Number- Your address can not only tell people where you live but it gives you information that can be used to steal your identity. The same goes for your phone number. People can do a lot more with your information than you think. It’s best to only give this information to people who need to know.
Password- Yes, this seems obvious but many people give their passwords out to people without thinking ahead. Let’s say you give your password to your significant other or your best friend. There’s no harm in that, right? It depends.
Down the road, if the relationship breaks up or your friendship is no longer; that person could still have your password and through their anger, post things about you on your page, add images, videos, etc. to your profile. We know you don’t want to think someone who cares about you would do such a thing, but time and situations can change relationships and when people are upset, they can do things that may seem extremely out of character.
Bank Information- While this doesn’t seem like something anyone would do; it happens more often than we would like to admit. Even mentioning which bank you go to is a bit too much information because thieves have ways of getting little bits of information and finding out even more. Recently it has been said that even just having a person’s first and last name can do quite a bit of damage.
Security Settings Not Always Secure
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Yes, social networking sites have ways to protect your data but be sure to read the fine print. With Facebook Applications, for example, a lot more information is being taken than one may think. Some applications use information from your profile that technically isn’t even needed to run the app.
If there is something you definitely do not want strangers to know, it’s best to just leave it off of your page. While most of the time your information is safe, you cannot guarantee that the site won’t be hacked or your information will get into the wrong hands.
Just Because It’s Deleted, Doesn’t Mean It’s Gone
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Even when you delete something off of the internet, that does not always mean it is gone for good. There is no way to tell who has seen the information or who has copied it. Things you may think are gone forever may actually be in the hands of more than just one individual out there.
Have Fun and Be Safe
None of what we mentioned today was meant to scare you, it was meant to protect you from the potential dangers of social networking sites. As much as we love them, we want to make sure each and every one of you knows how to enjoy yourself safely. So, it better to enjoy social networking safely than to attract dangers and unwanted situations coming to you from social networking.
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Written by Nathan Baylis. Edited by Rahul Chowdhury.
This post was written by Nathan Baylis. Nathan is a social media lover and continuously updates his Facebook and twitter status on his Bold 9700. He thinks we should be cautious about what we share on social networks.
AUTHOR NOTE: The url has been removed since it was found out that the URL is a suspected malware by Google, so to maintain a healthy environment at daPazze, we needed to take this step.