Nothing is Risk-Free: Think Before You Post or Click

Posted Mar 17 2016 by Angela Corona Torres

With convenience and speed comes risk.  In today’s world, information is disseminated within seconds through the internet.  With the click of a button, you can invite 100 people to your birthday party or share news of your big promotion.  Moments in life are easily shared online and predominantly through social media.  However, be careful.  Do not get too comfortable posting everything online.  Think twice before doing the following:

Hawaii 2016!

Should you post that picture of you by the beach in Hawaii?  You may get “100 likes,” but you also just informed everyone you know that you are out of town, and no one is home. Anyone may be able to search online and find out the exact address of your empty home.  This quick research coupled with your status update could put your home and possessions at risk.  Of course you may still share all the highlights from your trip, but try posting pictures after the trip.  You will get all the “likes” without the home invasion.  #latepost

We Are Engaged!

You just got engaged, what an exciting time!  Social media may seem like the best way to announce your new relationship status – but refrain from posting pictures of your ring online.  It is like saying, “hey look at my $10,000 ring!”  Anyone interested?  You never know who is seeing your updates or if people are showing other friends, connections, etc.  This status update may draw unnecessary attention to your new very valuable accessory, which may pose a risk.  #bridetobe

Garage Sale!

Getting rid of old belongings or things you do not need anymore?  A simple post about your upcoming garage sale can reach hundreds of people.  The more people that come, the more likely you are to get rid of your junk and help others find their treasures.  But, did you really just post your home address on social media?  Most of us have a wide variety of “friends” on social media, ranging from family and friends to work contacts.  Do you really want your vendor from work to know where you live?  Or even worse, people you forgot to delete?  You may still post about your garage sale, but do not list your address. Those whom you would want to come will already know where to find you or they will contact you directly.  #everythingmustgo

Click Here For a Free Download

Seriously consider the risks of downloading “free” programs online.  Avoid downloading free programs or software, unless it is from a reputable source.  In addition to downloading the free program, you could also be downloading potential spyware and adware. #nothingisreallyforfree

Copy & Paste This

You see it all the time on social media, the instruction to “copy and paste this to your status update.”  Use common sense before you re-post these things.  Take the extra step, and research online whether the update is even true.  You may look foolish if you post something that clearly is not true.  Any post that starts with “not sure if this is true, but going to try it anyway,” is probably not true.  #thinkaboutit

What this Dog Does Next Will Amaze You!

Tempting titles will entice you, but think twice before you click the link to view the video. Along with the adorable dog video, you may unknowingly download a virus.  Now you can’t click on anything.  Yikes!  I hope the video was worth it.  #givesnewmeaningtoviralvideo

B-R-O-K-E!

Recently rapper, 50 Cent, posted a picture on Instagram of B-R-O-K-E spelled out with wads of cash.  A seemingly normal post for a rapper, right?  However, 50 Cent had recently filed for bankruptcy protection.  His creditors saw the post and brought it to the court’s attention.  As a result, 50 Cent was ordered back into court due to concerns of “nondisclosure and lack of transparency.”  A simple post just became a big problem.  #99problems

 

Social media’s number 1 purpose is to get the word out.  It’s great to share with others what you are feeling or doing.  But make sure you use some caution and common sense. No “news” is worth jeopardizing your privacy or safety.  Taking a few seconds to review what you are going to post, may save you headaches in the future…and keep you out of court. 

 

Angela Corona Torres is the Information Technology manager at McManis Faulkner.  She builds and maintains the firm’s network system.  In addition, she is responsible for instructing attorneys and staff about new and updated technology devices and programs.