Tips for Safely Sharing Your Life Online

October 1st, 2015

Reprinted from the Department of Homeland Security's monthly email update

We are doing and sharing more online now than ever before. With our mobile devices, we are able to connect with friends, share photos, opinions, and updates online no matter where we are.staysafe

As the amount of personal information that people are sharing on social media continues to rise – from where they are on vacation, what they had to eat for lunch, and the name and picture of their pet – it is important to recognize what sharing personal information online means to you and your family’s security.

Cyber criminals can use the information you put online to collect data about you to commit fraud, identity theft, or social engineering. When it comes to sharing online, less is more. The less information you put online about yourself and your family, the more you can minimize the chances that you will be a victim of online crime.

The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign encourages you to take the following steps when sharing online to protect yourself and your family:

  • Remember, there is no delete button on the Internet. Think before you post. Even if you delete your content, someone could have saved it or taken a screenshot. Use the strictest privacy settings available, but assume anyone can see what you post. Before posting, ask yourself: “Am I comfortable with sharing this information with the whole world?”
  • Don’t broadcast your location. Location or geo-tagging features on social networks is not the safest feature to activate. You could be telling a stalker exactly where to find you or telling a thief that you are not home.
  • Connect only with people you trust. While some social networks might seem safer for connecting because of the limited personal information shared through them, keep your connections to people you know and trust in real life.
  • Keep certain things private from everyone. Certain information should be kept completely off your social networks to begin with. While it’s fun to have everyone wish you a happy birthday, listing your date of birth with your full name and address gives potential identity thieves pertinent information.

For more tips and resources, check out The Stop.Think.Connect. Social Media Guide, which includes a Tip Card for Parents, a Social Media Tip Card for Students, and a Cybersecurity for Bloggers Tip Card.

For more information and resources on online safety, please visit