According to research from We Are Social and Hootsuite, South Africans on average spend more than eight hours a day online. It has become second nature for us to share every waking thought and experience with the rest of the world, with the comments, likes and follows rewarding us for every little disclosure we make.
Yet wise social media users are careful about what they post. Once you post something, it could be online forever, even if you later change your mind and delete it. Plus, even if using the privacy settings in platforms like Facebook gives you the illusion you are controlling who sees and shares your post, the reality is that anyone can screen capture and share your post with the rest of the world.
So, there are some types of content that it’s best not to share at all on social media. Here 6 things you should never post on social media according to Alcatel:
1. Too many personal details. The Internet is full of criminals and scammers hunting for personal information they can use for identity theft, account hijacking, card fraud and other sinister purposes. Your ID number, your address, your telephone numbers and birth date are not exactly state secrets. But they are useful information for someone who wants to impersonate you, to steal your money or your identity.
SEE ALSO: 11 tips to avoid social media scams
2. Typical answers to security questions. Many websites ask you a range of security questions when you sign up, so that you can recover your account if you lose your password and your email address. These include your mother’s maiden name, the name of your first pet and the first vehicle you owned. Keep this information to yourself, rather than making it available to any crooks stalking your profile.
3. Too much information about your job. We’re all tempted to moan about our boss or a difficult client or a missed deadline after a bad day at the office. But it’s better to save it for the ears of your friends and family. Not only could you be embarrassed if your manager sees your rant about their unreasonable demands on Facebook, you could also spill some company secrets when you talk about your work.S
4. Screenshots of personal messages. How would you feel if a friend or family member shared a personal message you sent them on Facebook or WhatsApp with the world without getting your permission? You would probably feel betrayed and perhaps embarrassed. You would be careful about sharing with that person ever again. So, don’t do it to someone else because you want to get a few likes.
5. Anything that might embarrass you in the future. Tempted to post an edgy joke that some people might misinterpret or an amusing photo of your drunken escapades? Before you do it, think what a client or employee might think if they come across it on the Internet.
6. Comments that could be defamatory. Be careful about posting something that could harm another person’s reputation, especially if you don’t have evidence that it’s true. You could be sued for defamation for sharing gossip or allegations that harm someone’s good name.