What have you revealed about yourself online? Staying safe on line is important for everyone and no matter who you are or where you are, there are thieves waiting to steal information about you.
Last night on Facebook I noticed a post float down my wall which disturbed me greatly. It was probably posted with no bad intent but disturbed me for the questions it asked.
I have been astounded at some of the things that I have found out through Facebook about all my dog owner Facebook friends! I hope you all will let me and others get to know you better. You guys are really smart, have great jobs, and educated!! Hope to get to know many of you better!
If you will play along, and I will start. Tell:
1 What your name is
2 What your kennel name is
3 What kind of work you do
4 What your husband or wife’s name is
5 What kind of work they do
6 What state/country you live in
7 Do you have children/grandchildren?
But the biggest issue with this post was that it was public. That means there anyone from anywhere can see that post and its responses. No privacy filters set whatsoever. I was astonished to see that within 2 hours of her posting this that 18 people had given up their information.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
I cautioned my friends from posting a reply because her wall was not private and the information requested could be used against them in malicious ways – not necessarily by the person posting it but the world she made it available to
The woman requested the info replied to my post and fessed up to asking the questions. She said that she didn’t want people to be “paranoid”. You should be paranoid about what floats out about you on the internet. So, DON’T POST IT!
To try and emphasize how important it is to protect privacy, I sent her a private message and showed her what I found out about her within five minutes.
- Her birthday and her husband’s birthdate
- Her private email address
- Where she worked, what position and for how long.
- Her home address
- The approximate value of their home
- That there was an email address attributed to her husband that was email@example.com (a tad embarrassing at the age of 50+)
- Two telephone numbers one home, one mobile
- Children’s names
The next morning she told me that what I found was impressive but that she had a high profile on the internet because of her employer. So I googled her name and decided to check out what was high profile. Ok so first I get the LinkedIn profile = no big deal most working professionals put something up. Then a web address of her employer and her kennel web page. That is not high profile in the traditional sense yet the personal data can make you high profile to the thief that is building a data file on you. Birthdates? Home addresses? Property values? She should have been a bit more concerned than flipping me off with her high profile label. On any profile personal information is too much information.
Posting this information on Facebook is the same as writing all of your vital statistics and information down on a piece of paper and then posting it on the bulletin board at your local grocery store. Do you really think that is ok?