There’s no doubt that social media has changed our lives, and for the most part, it’s been for the better. People are able to connect with one another with ease, and meeting up with friends (old and new) is usually just plain fun.
But there’s an alarming trend among social media users, and it all goes back to one of its biggest possible dangers: oversharing. Unlike oversharing too much info about your family or your job, though, some items that users are oversharing serve absolutely no purpose, and instead stand to cause serious harm to their identities and maybe even their physical safety.
Here is a brief—and in no way exhaustive—list of things people have shared online, but that you should never post on social media:
- Your driver’s license photo: Sure, it might seem like common sense not to take a picture of your driver’s license and share it on Facebook, but that’s exactly what unwitting license owners are doing. Why? They’re celebrating the achievement of earning their driver’s licenses with a smiling picture, taken while holding up the license. Identity thieves love those pictures because they can nab your information or even make a duplicate of your license.
- Your credit card: If you’re someone who would never put your driver’s license photo on social media, you might have trouble believing that people post photographs of their credit cards online. It’s typically another milestone type of post, celebrating having their first grown up card. But unlike the driver’s license, it takes no skill whatsoever to steal the information off the card and use it to make online purchases, drain money into an account, and more.
- Photos of online purchase receipts and confirmations: Believe it or not, there are people who make an expensive purchase online and then share the confirmation receipt on social media. Some retailers’ websites even have a set of buttons to automatically announce on Facebook, Twitter, or other sites that you’ve just purchased their product. It’s intended for marketing purposes—as though your friends will race over to the website to buy one for themselves, just because you shared the news—but some social media users are going about it all wrong.
Instead of posting through the share buttons, some users have simply posted an image of their confirmation receipts, complete with the email address the account is under and the confirmation number for the order. It only takes a simple phone call to customer service to have the package rerouted to a different address, to change the password on the account, and more.
However you choose to conduct yourself on social media, be aware of the dangers of telling the world a little too much. Bragging about your material goods or your expensive plans, making a rash decision to be rude to a service employee, or otherwise telling people information they simply don’t need to know can have lasting, serious consequences.