Internet, Networking, & Security Around the Web 686 686 people found this article helpful 10 Things You Should Never Post on Social Networks What you post could put your personal safety at risk By Andy O'Donnell Writer Andy O'Donnell, MA, is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a senior security engineer who is active in internet and network security. our editorial process Andy O'Donnell Updated February 24, 2020 Turnbull / Getty Images Around the Web How to Get a VPN Tweet Share Email We share so many details of our daily lives online, but where should we draw the line on what we reveal about ourselves, our families, and our friends? Some personal information is best not to share online. Here are ten personal details to avoid publishing on social networks. Your Full Birthdate Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images While you may love getting loads of birthday wishes posted by your friends on your Facebook Timeline, having your birthdate in your profile may provide scammers and identity thieves with one of the key pieces of information needed to steal your identity and open up accounts in your name. Your Current Location Gaël Rognin / Getty Images Many people don't realize when they post a status update or a tweet, they may also be revealing their current location through geotagging. Giving out your location information can be risky because it tells potential thieves you're not at home. Depending on your privacy settings, an innocent tweet from your vacation spot might be the green light criminals are waiting to rob your house. Pictures of Children Tagged With Their Names Mifflin / Getty Images This is a sensitive topic. We all want to protect our kids, but many of us post hundreds of name-tagged pictures of our children online for the world to see. The problem this presents is you can't be sure only your friends can see these pictures. What if your friend has their phone stolen or logs into Facebook from the library and forgets to log out? You can't rely on the "Friends only" setting. Assume everything posted is going to be public and don't post anything you wouldn't want the world to access. If you must post pictures of your children, remove any geotag information, and avoid using their real names in the picture description. Your true friends know their names — no need to label them. The same goes for tagging pictures of your friends' kids. Your Home Address Mint Images / Getty Images Again, you never know who might be looking at your profile. Don't post where you live, as you're making things easy for the bad guys. There's a lot a criminal can do using just your address. Your Personal Phone Number Janitors / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr While you may want friends to contact you, your real phone number can fall into the wrong hands through a social networking site. It's possible your location could be narrowed down by someone using a reverse phone number lookup tool, which is freely available on the internet. An easy way to allow people to contact you by phone without giving them your phone number is by using a Google Voice phone number as a go-between. Your Relationship Status Jasmin Awad / Getty Images Posting your relationship status could present encouragement to a potential stalker, and even let them know you're more likely to be home alone. Pictures With Geotags Михаил Руденко / Getty Images There's no better road map to your current location than a geotagged picture. Your phone might be recording the location of all the pictures you take without you even knowing it. You can remove geotags from your pictures, though, to keep this extra information being shared with them. Your Vacation Plans Milton Brown / Getty Images When you post your detailed vacation plans, itinerary, geotagged vacation photos, or live video, you're all but announcing to the world that no one's at your home and there won't be anyone there for a while. Even a "check-in" at a fancy restaurant reveals that your home is empty. Vacation photos are great to share but wait until you're safely home before uploading those pictures or posting about your vacation online. You can disable Facebook location tracking to avoid accidentally checking in and sharing information you don't want to. Embarrassing Things You Don't Want Your Employer or Family to See Mirko Vitali / Getty Images Before you post anything online, think to yourself: Would you want your boss or family members to see this? If not, don't post it. Even if you post something and delete it, that doesn't mean someone didn't take a screenshot of it before you had the chance to take it down. Protect your online reputation, because more than just your friends may snoop your online presence. Your Current Job or Work-Related Details Stefano Gilera / Getty Images Talking about work-related tidbits on social networks is a bad idea. Sensitive details revealed innocently could be a violation of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). Even a status update about how upset you are about missing a deadline on an important project might provide valuable information to competitors that could be leveraged against your company. If your company doesn't have training around this topic, you can take the initiative to create a security awareness training program, earning the appreciation of coworkers, supervisors, and executives while protecting your organization.