There’s no doubt about it: Facebook is popular! With an estimate of 230 million users, Facebook is by far the most popular social media network out there. It’s a place where we love to post about our lives in order to better connect with family and friends, but did you ever stop to think that maybe posting so much stuff online is a bad idea? While Facebook is truly beneficial, it also provides a large number of potential privacy risks to the average user, many that are overlooked or unknown. In April earlier this year, the personal information of up to 87 million users on Facebook, mostly in the United States, may have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, up from a previous news media estimate of more than 50 million.
Here are 13 things you should delete from your Facebook in order to better protect yourself and your family from the risks!
Do Not List These 13 Things On Facebook
1. Your Relationship Status
Obviously, there are situations where this is a safe thing to do, such as stating that you’re married when you wear a wedding band to support it every day of your life. But many people on Facebook remain in the dating circle, so while it might be tempting to share a play-by-play of your dating life, it’s best to keep this information to just the people in your life who are meaningful.
2. Pictures of Children
Always, always, always think twice before posting a picture of a child online. For one thing, this child might be too young to consent to their photo publicly being placed on the internet. For another, should that picture fall into a predator’s hand, that child is now at risk. Why not just avoid this by not posting their picture in the first place?
3. Your Child’s School/Daycare/Etc
This goes along with the previous point. Be cautious about sharing information on where your child will be at any time. Unfortunately, this simple information could easily be used for an unwanted person to gain access to your child.
4. Questionable Pictures of You
While Facebook used to be a simple place to connect with your friends, it’s now the first place that many potential employers look to determine if you’re a desirable employee. If your feed is filled with drunk photos, parties, or dumb stunts, then that doesn’t add good material to your resume, does it?
5. “Friends” Who Aren’t Real Friends
Believe it or not, Facebook isn’t a popularity contest. It doesn’t matter how high your friends-list number gets. Accepting random friend requests from strangers could easily be putting you at risk, especially if you’re sharing a lot of personal information about yourself, your life, or your whereabouts.
6. All Credit/Debit/Bank Information
This one might be a no-brainer, but it’s also easy to forget. If you’ve purchased something through Facebook, always delete your card information, otherwise, it could be stored online and stolen from hackers!
7. Your Phone Number
You wouldn’t go handing out your phone number to everyone you meet (or even to everyone you know), so why would you paste it on your Facebook for anyone to see?
8. Posts You’re Tagged In
Not all of these posts are necessarily unwanted, but you should make sure of that! Photos or posts that you’ve been tagged in are able to be seen by a lot more people than you think, depending on the other people’s privacy settings. Untag yourself in everything that represents you negatively.
9. Your Birthday
While it’s true that a flood of birthday messages is flattering, giving out your birthdayactually makes it easier for identity thieves to access key information about you. Why not make it harder for them by not posting your birthday?
10. Your Manager/Supervisor/Boss
No one is saying that you post things that would be concerning to your boss, but think about it: something simple like posting about a night out with friends, posting about an annoying happening at work, or even stating your political views can become highly sticky if your boss sees it. Why not make it easier on yourself (and your job) and avoid this altogether?
11. Location Services
While sometimes it’s fun to let people know where you are and what you’re doing, what you’re also doing is letting the bad guys know that your house is empty and clear to break into. Also, you’re telling people where and when to find you, which is also dangerous. Just turn off your location services already.
12. Your Vacation Destination
Even with location services turned off, sometimes you want to talk about where you are – but consider avoiding that, too! Instead of posting pictures of where you are while you’re there, or where you’re going before you leave, just save that information for later. It’ll help protect you from all kinds of risks.
13. Your Travel Tickets and Plans
We’re all excited to get a boarding pass, especially when it’s to a tropical island or cross-country trip, but sharing that information publically won’t be exciting when a predator gets hold of it and decides to meet you where you land. You also don’t want people to know you’re away from home, or it could create an opportunity for burglary. Just avoid these kinds of photos.
When you post something online, it is hard to take it back! You never know if something you post will exist forever in other locations or put you at risk. Better safe than sorry!
Original article appeared here.