Social media connects us to everyone and everything, but the vast amount of data we voluntarily post about ourselves online can sometimes come back to bite us
Besides the fact that sites like Facebook and Twitter collect your private information in order to turn a profit, personal data we share can easily find its way to people we'd rather didn't see it.
Though it's easy to forget your filter when using social media, there are certain things you should think twice about before notifying your friends—and the rest of the world.
Photos, Maps or Other Identifying Information about Your Private Life
This is a pretty broad category, and it might seem to exclude just about every picture or status update you can think of. But for the most part, you don't want to make it easy for the wrong people to find your house, place of work or private information.
That means no pictures of your new credit card, bank statements, phone number, home address, or pictures of your kids if you profile is set to public.
That You Weren't Sick on Your Sick Day
Whether you're asking your friends if you should call out or not, or your friends uploaded pictures of you partying the night before, it shouldn't go online. Your employer might not be monitoring social media for illegitimate sick day requests, but why run the risk of someone finding out when the evidence is sitting right there?
On the same token, don't announce to the world that you're quitting your job before informing your employer—otherwise you might be unemployed sooner than you expected.
Complaints about Work
Similar to the point above—trashing your boss, coworkers or company on Facebook might seem like a great way to let off steam, but the odds of your employer finding out are probably higher than you think. Remember, it's not just your friends who use social media.
Trying to Gather Support for a Personal Argument
Disagreements with your spouse, parents or friends don't belong on a public forum. Using social media as an echo chamber for your opinion only makes it harder to resolve arguments in real life because the other party feels like you've breached their trust.
Disclose extreme Views
Keep radical political, religious or racial views to yourself. Yes, your opinions are protected by the First Amendment—but that doesn't mean you should turn social media into an open platform for those views. If so, you run the risk of being ostracized in the real world for radical opinions expressed online.
Reveal Information about a Court Case
Juryd duty, lawsuits, it doesn't matter—nothing good has ever come of posting information about court cases. And if you are personally involved in a case, you can bet anything and everything you reveal online will be used against you, potentially ruining cases that were once a done deal.
Proceed with Caution
Social media is meant to connect us to the people that matter. At the same time, we must be our own filters when deciding what to post or what not to post online. Next time you upload a picture or write a status update, think about what potential headache it could cause you down the line.
Be safe surfing from your friends at Kalfus & Nachman, PC