I just read an interesting infographic about crimes that were committed and solved on Facebook. In one of the featured stories was a break-in in a victim’s house by a man, whom she later found out had just befriended her on Facebook a week before!
This just goes to show that the things you put on Facebook: your private details, your photos, your thoughts and preferences; they can be used against you. So despite the therapeutic feeling Facebook offers you, you really should take into account what you put on your Facebook page.
Here is a list of five things that I suggest should not be on your Facebook page, beginning with:
1. People you have to answer to
The friend’s list is a very personal place. The 5000 ‘friending limit’ is not a challenge, so there really isn’t any pressure to push the numbers higher than what you have. Where am I going with this? Keep bosses, managers, supervisors, or even colleagues out of your friend’s list. No matter how strong your relationship is with anyone from these categories, it is best to keep your professional life separate from your personal life. For starters, if work gets you down, you can still write statuses about it without having to look over your virtual shoulder all the time.
While it may not be a good career move to speak ill of your work place, it is a valid form of stress relief, particularly when you get to vent without worrying about a backlash. Leave that option open for yourself by keeping your Facebook territory free of work-related people.
2. Photos of everything
We can’t really resist sharing photos of our lives. For some, it is a funny, heart-warming or proud scene that is warmly shared with friends. For others, it’s a boost for the self-esteem. Albums after albums of homes, kids, the workplace, a drinking party, purchases, vacation trips, pets and family mark attempts to paint a picture of what a wonderful life I have; how’s yours?
(Image source: Prashish Rajbhandari)
But when you share too much info on your page, it’s an invitation for trouble, particularly, if you readily post pictures of your home, your furniture and belongings, where your kids go to school, what you gave your wife for her last birthday or your latest gadget purchase of the month. Showing off is fine but you don’t want to be revealing more than what you want to roaming eyes.
Plus, it kind of throws your argument of "wanting to keep whatever’s left of your privacy private", out the window. You have control over what pictures to post. Use it.
3. That itching need to constantly tag where you are
Are you a prolific serial tagger? You have to get that addiction cured. It’s not really advisable to constantly tag your whereabouts, especially when you even tag where your home is (believe me, there are people who do that). Experts have always advised us to not confine our lives to predictable routines because that’s how criminals know when to break and enter your home. And that was during the pre-Facebook years.
On top of that, stop announcing to everyone when you will be away from home (in Phuket for the whole of next week!) or when you will be alone at home (Alone at home, googly-bear has a conference in Australia, again).The only thing missing are photos of where you keep your keys and valuables, but let’s not make it easier than it already is right now.
You can call it paranoia, but if you look at some of your friend’s Facebook Walls, and do a bit of homework, you can actually pull off a mini-heist or two. For the record, we’re not daring you, but now you know it can be done.
4. Angry statuses or comments
It’s never a good idea to write an angry letter or email about anyone to anybody. But the inhibition level is not as high when it comes to Facebook statuses. Regardless of how private you keep your page, there are people who are watching what you type. What they see paints a mental picture of you in their heads, which gets altered all the time, as they get to know you better.
Being too critical and calling people four-letter names never help. And as much as you may think that this is my Facebook page and I am entitled to write whatever I think or feel at the moment, even you know deep down inside that it will come back to haunt you one day. Your opinions and thoughts will vary as you grow older, but Facebook statuses stay forever. Note to self: This cliché will come back and haunt me one day.
Of all the things on this list that you shouldn’t post, if you can only choose one, it should be this. Keep your birthdate figures a secret.
(Image source: Free Vector)
Why? Do you know what birthdays are good for apart from reminding everyone to add another candle on your chocolate cake? Yeah, passwords to emails, online accounts and websites. Do not deny it.
When asked to provide a 6-to-8 character password, the first thing that pops into your mind will probably be a variation of your birth date or the birthdates of someone close to you. But if you have to put your birthday up (just to feel the love Facebook reminders have to offer), consider not revealing the year you were born.
And there you have it, the 5 things that should not be on your Facebook Wall. Have anything you want to add to the list?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.