Security Corner

Oct 17 2011   5:09PM GMT

Why you should stop posting these five things on Facebook

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

If you’re not already a member of MakeUseOf, I highly suggest you join. They have a wealth of information that can make your lives and jobs easier. Today’s tip comes from a MakeUseOf email I just received. These are five things you need to stop posting on Facebook for both professional and personal reasons. Here is my take on them from a security standpoint.

  1. Your current location. You want the whole world to know where you are, or a thief to know you’re not home? This is just dangerous on the web. There are people out there who don’t have your best interests in mind and letting them know where you are just doesn’t make sense.
  2. New technology toys. “Wow, I love my new expensive gadget! Here’s a picture of it sitting on my bed. There is no reason for the whole world to know how you spend your money and no need to make yourself the target of thieves. This also ties in with #1 above: If the bad guys know you you aren’t at home and that you have penchant for expensive technology, you’ll be on their radar. Believe me, there are rings of people out there who take advantage of this.
  3. Chain posts about Facebook’s new payment system. It’s free: always was and always will be. It is absolutely amazing to me how these things just seem to persist forever. Posting these things is an indication that you’re, well, not the brightest bulb in the lamp. Hackers target gullible people with this stuff and gullible people continue to fall for it. Stop letting them know you’re a potential target.
  4. Vague or impersonal “personal” messages. You’ve seen them; you read them and go “huh?” Again, this could indicate that you are low-hanging fruit for the scammers and spammers.
  5. Vacation, pictures. I’ll let you be the judge on this one. This is not only related to #1 above – you’re letting people know you’re out of town – but depending on where the vacation spot is, local bad guys who may be monitoring things could target you.

You think your security settings that only allow your friends to see your updates are going to prevent bad things from happening? Well, take a good hard look at your friends list. Anyone on there who may be questionable? Anyone on there you really don’t know and have never met?

Facebook isn’t a private telephone conversation, it’s more like a 50,000 watt radio station; it can reach into places you don’t consider. And, unlike a telephone conversation that is over when it’s over, what you post on Facebook and the web will probably never go away. It can come back to bite you.

It’s not fun to get bit…

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