April 7, 2018 |

How safe are you being online?

It is easy to get carried away with sharing information online, particularly on sites such as Facebook, as we tend to think of this as an audience of friends not foes (as a side note, I am sure most of you would also have read some of the recent media reports in regard to the on-selling of private information that users have supplied to Facebook).

However…not all your friends may have positioned their security settings to within their circle of friends and may well be sharing their information publicly and/or with people who are strangers to you– which means that if you make comments or share something with a Facebook friend to their page and this person has set their privacy to ‘public’ for all posting, then whatever you posted to that page can automatically be seen by anyone, anywhere.  A good example of how privacy may be unwittingly breached is my ticket to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (which was great by the way).


When I shared a photo of my ticket with my Facebook friends I ensured that my thumb obscured both the seat allocation and which session I was attending – and I posted it after I had seen the show, not while I was there. Why? Because even though I generally trust my friends and my settings are secure, had I shared the version on the right, then potentially ‘the world’ would know what I was doing and when – because I have no way of knowing who of my friends is sharing information publicly and/or with others who I do not know personally – so this situation means I had no control around where these details ended up and with whom. So if I had shown the ticket freely while sitting at the theatre, I would have unwittingly made it known exactly where I was on that day and where to find me should someone feel like robbing or accosting me – and depending on who in my circle knows where I live, that ticket would be an open invitation to my home being empty given I was at the theatre.  The same goes for airline tickets, yes it is tempting to show off your ticket Europe, but as far as I’m concerned, you may as well leave your doors and windows open while you are away!

So, without being alarmist, I suggest you fully acquaint yourself with all the options around security when using Facebook, just go to Settings then locate the Privacy icon and ensure you are in control of your own privacy and security. If you are unsure of what to select and why, please do some homework and Google articles, tips and tricks around being safe online.

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