Cyber Security Tip #9

Social Media Postings Can Reveal More Information Than You Think

Security experts and privacy advocates have been warning for the past couple of years about the potential dangers of geotags, which are embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras. Geotags are not visible to the casual viewer, and many people may not realize they are there; however these hidden tags can often contain information that could be used to identify you or the places you visit frequently. Never post unflattering or embarrassing pictures (no matter how funny) that could come back to haunt you. Remember anything you post online is there forever!

Carefully examine photos for identifying information such as the name of your school, the name of a sports team or organization you belong to, the address of the place you work or your favorite social hangout. Do not give out the full name of an individual in a photo captions. Remember pictures can also be copied or altered and used on other websites in ways that might be detrimental to your reputation.

Another important tip is to never advertise that you are away from home! When you post that you’re on vacation, or when you “check in” to your favorite meeting place on social media sites that tells others not only where you are, but also that you’re not home. Your friends aren’t the only ones who’d like to know where you are. Thieves and stalkers do too.

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