It’s easy to get excited about something and post it on social media for all your friends and family to see, and maybe even the rest of the world. But there are some things that you shouldn’t post online, even if it might seem obvious.
Whether it’s for a concert or a sporting event, it’s generally not a good idea to post a photo of the ticket on your social media accounts.
This is because pretty much all tickets these days use a barcode that gets scanned at the gate to permit entrance into the event. It’s easy to copy these barcodes from a photo and then use them to create a duplicate ticket.
Someone can take that photo of your ticket and use it themselves to gain entrance into a game or other event. So think twice before sharing that beloved golden ticket online.
Credit & Debit Cards
This one seems obvious, but apparently, it happens more than you might think. Don’t believe me? This now-defunct Twitter account gives you the proof.
I know that it seems exciting enough to share a photo of your new fancy credit card (yay for rewards and cash back!), but anyone can use all those numbers on that card to purchase something online. Worse yet, it can be the beginning of full-on identity theft.
If you want to post a picture of your new credit card on social media, by all means, go for it, but at least take the time to cover up all the numbers.
Vacation’s finally here—time to post about it on Facebook! That boarding pass may seem innocent enough, but those barcodes and numbers can tell a bigger story than what meets the eye. Think twice before posting a photo of them.
Your airline boarding pass surprisingly has a lot of information, and not just on the flight itself. By using some of that information, someone could access your entire frequent flyer account.
With just the last name and the record locator number, it’s possible to get access to information like someone’s phone number and any future flights they have booked. Plus, it allows access for someone to go in and change your seats, as well as cancel any future flights.
So if you want to post your boarding pass on social media, you might want to be a bit strategic with your photo and make sure that no unique barcodes and numbers are visible.
Photos of Your Desk
It may seem harmless to post a picture of your cluttered desk with the caption “Burning the midnight oil,” but depending on what kind of information you have lying around on your desk, you might be exposing some of your company’s confidential information—or even your own.
Sticky notes on your monitor or various invoices and memos on your desk might seem harmless, but someone on the wrong side of the law could get curious and look for account numbers, passwords, specific names, and more.
So if you are going to post a photo of your messy desk (or hey, even a clean one), be sure that nothing personal and confidential is in the frame.
Your Home Address
Perhaps the most sacred piece of private information is your home address. Of course, many of your friends and family know where you live, but you don’t need to let the whole world know. Unfortunately, it can be easy to let the public know your address inadvertently.
The most common occurrence I see is people posting pictures of their homes on social media (whether they remodeled or just bought a new house), and the street number is easily visible on the front of the house.
The number itself may seem harmless, but as long as someone knows what city you live in (which isn’t that difficult to figure out most of the time), they can search through a handful of addresses in that city starting with your street number, and then use Google Street View to confirm.
Of course, you should be proud of your new home and by all means, post it on Facebook if you must. But at least block out the street number before you publish it on social media.
Just Have Some Common Sense and Double Check Things
I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t post all of this stuff on social media. I love to brag about going to events and taking vacations, myself. But whenever you do post photos like this, take the time to double check that nothing unique or personal is in the frame.
And if you’re not sure if something should or shouldn’t be posted onto your social media account for the world to see, then trust your gut and assume that you shouldn’t.