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While social media has become increasingly integrated into our daily routines, it is important understand the potential pitfalls associated with these actions. Understanding the bigger picture will allow you to protect yourself and stay ahead of the curve, both online and offline.

These are the best reasons that you should guard your personal life:

  • Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud – This can be from your social security number to your credit card, or viruses/hackers that are stealing info directly from your computer. While handling your purchases, bills, and other finances via a computer may seem convenient, it also requires caution. Frequently changing passwords, using multi-step log-ins, and establishing alerts are good practices.  When it comes to paper documents with personal information, make sure you shred them before throwing out.
  • Manage Your Online Profile – Google yourself and see where you appear. Figure out which websites have information stored about you and limit it if possible. The less information about you and the fewer the outlets of availability the better. Consider each situation a door to your life, the fewer doors you need to protect the better.
  • You Don’t Know Who is Following You – It may be tempting to share information, pictures, whereabouts, vacation destinations, and various personal opinions online (after all it is classified as social media). However, these actions could scare off potential employers, admissions officers, or entice would be burglars or criminals.
  • Job Prospects and Acquaintances – You don’t need to be a complete recluse, but don’t tell everyone you meet what type of business you do or what you exact position is. Only your most trusted family and friends should know this info. The reality is that everyone is out for themselves and you never know how they may use this information against you.

While the internet and social media have increased the amount that people post about themselves online, the fact is that by sharing your information with the wrong people, you become much more susceptible to wrong-doing. The information which you view as private can easily fall into the wrong hands and have dire consequences. Protect yourself at all times.

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