Sharing has become second nature in the age of social media and constant connectivity. However, while openness can lead to deeper connections, it can also expose you to a variety of risks. Here are nine things you should reconsider sharing, along with the reasons why.
The most obvious, yet frequently ignored, rule is to avoid disclosing sensitive financial information. Bank account numbers, credit card information, and even your income level can all be used to commit fraud or identity theft. It’s not just about the potential loss of money; restoring your financial reputation can take years.
Sharing passwords, whether for email, social media, or any other account, is a security risk. Even if you fully trust the person with whom you are sharing, you can never predict future events that may jeopardize your privacy. Furthermore, if you use the same password across multiple platforms, you may gain access to more than one account.
While sharing health information with doctors and close family members is important, openly disclosing your medical history can put you at risk for insurance discrimination, stigmatization, or even targeted scams offering false treatments for your condition.
Personal and Family Problems
While confiding in a trusted friend can be cathartic, discussing sensitive family issues can backfire. Not only could the information reach unintended ears, but it could also cause strain within your family if they discover you’ve discussed private matters with strangers.
Information about your job
Discussing work salaries, internal politics, or confidential projects can have serious professional ramifications. Leaking sensitive information can cost you your job, while discussing work-related issues can harm your reputation or relationships with coworkers.
Plans and itineraries
Informing people about your vacation plans or even your daily routine can put you at risk of burglary or stalking. In a world where geo-tagging and check-ins are common, it’s critical to avoid unintentionally disclosing information that could jeopardize your safety.
Political and religious convictions
It’s best to keep your political and religious beliefs to yourself unless you’re in a trusted and open environment. While these topics are important for meaningful discussions, they can also divide people and lead to heated, potentially harmful debates.
Pictures Taken Without Permission
Without thinking, we frequently share photos that include others. However, you should always obtain permission before sharing another person’s image. Posting without permission may infringe on their privacy and may even result in legal consequences.
Others’ Digital Identities
If someone entrusts you with their digital identity, whether it’s as simple as a tag in a social media post or as sensitive as an email, you must not share that information without their explicit permission. Unauthorized sharing can jeopardize their privacy and harm their online reputation.
Finally, while sharing can be a great way to connect and communicate, discretion is essential. It is critical to be cautious about the information you share and with whom you share it, as the consequences can range from minor inconveniences to major life-altering consequences.