Be careful what you share online or via apps
Sharing information online is all about considering two factors: what you are sharing (how sensitive the information is) and who you want to share the information with.
If you only give out general information or restrict it to only selected friends you will increase your privacy and safety. Think about if you want to use a public forum like Facebook, Twitter or some other social media OR if it would be better to send a direct message, text or email to someone.
If you are being monitored or stalked, you are safer to post less in public and engage in more one to one messaging. Calling, using text, instant messaging apps like Whatsapp or KiK is a more secure way to talk to people than using social media like Facebook, Linked-In, Pinterest etc
But remember whether using mobile apps or social media, it is easy for that information, or pictures to be passed on to others, who can then also pass it on.
It is very important not to have your location leak out so turn off location services in your camera settings and social media.
Remember, even when you are careful to ensure that no individual blog or forum post contains information that gives you away, the accumulated information over time may do so. Review your profile and posts from time to time and look for risks, and delete anything that when combined is too much.
Or just delete things because it is old or out of date - having a lot of past personal information or pictures online is not a good idea.
Information you should keep private when using social media or online forums, dating sites:
- your name and the names of family members and friends.
- ages and genders - of you, your children, or other family members.
- identifying information: birth year, birth date, zodiac sign, city, schools, work or clubs.
- emotions - abusers are probably very interested in whether you are happy or sad, lonely or angry.
- your relationship status - independent, have a new friend or are falling in love.
- addresses - including home and work addresses, as well as any other location you visit regularly.
- Think before you say you are attending an event - a birth, wedding, graduation, or death. Any event that the abuser could learn of and assume you will attend poses a real concern.
- Whether or not they 'attend' they may be watching and follow you home or look at other people social media sites to get gossip or pictures of you.
- Don't add phone numbers. This includes home, mobile phone, work number, and friends' numbers.
- Personal numbers - bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, PINs, passport, birth date, wedding date, insurance policy numbers, car registration plate, NI number and more.
- Information rich photos. A perfectly innocent photo can reveal more than you think. You might put yourself, family members, or friends at risk by posting photos that show where you go out or work, for example. Also, photos can have the location where the photo is taken, make sure you turn off your location services in your camera setting.