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Be Careful What You Share Online

Before sharing information online, consider what you are sharing (how sensitive the information is) and who you want to share the information with. If the information is general in nature or restricted to a site that isn’t available to the general public, there should be little risk in sharing it. However, if the information identifies you, your possessions or someone else in some way, you want to limit access to that information.

Here are some categories of information you may want to consider as you determine what you’re comfortable sharing — or having others share about you publicly. This list doesn’t presume to be a definitive inventory of identifying information, but it can get you thinking about what you share and where you share it.

Identifying information: birth year, birth date, zodiac sign, social security number, city, state, hobbies, emotional state.

Addresses: This includes home and work addresses, as well as any other location you visit regularly, Consider what information goes in birth, wedding, graduation and death announcements.

Phone numbers: This includes home, mobile phone, work number and friends’ numbers.

Personal numbers: Bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, PINs, phone calling card, SSN, passport, driver’s license number, birth date, wedding date, insurance policy numbers, loan numbers, VIN numbers, license plate 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 live or work, for example.

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