Facebook has become a powerful tool in building an online profile and being able to communicate with others. However, users must use it with caution and ensure that private things must be kept private.
The downside is that there are also people we do not really know who can also see our updates –from photos to stories to the littlest details we only usually plan to share with certain people. Because of this, Facebook has evolved into a place for stalking and a place to mine information for others.
While at first it doesn’t seem to be much of a concern, putting certain information that can be viewed publicly i.e. everyone in the world who comes across your account has proven to be rather dangerous. In fact, sharing everything with your friends list is also not advisable because there are people mining information out there so that they can hack your bank information or any other pertinent documents.
If one remembers the case of celebrity email hacking years ago where Paris Hilton’s and other celebrities’ accounts were hacked, one has to note that the hacking was not really a hack in the strictest definition of the term. Rather, the “hacker” read public posts through a social networking site, Twitter, and then used the information he gathered to open the email accounts of his targets.
There are a lot of other examples –some have had their email accounts hacked and their bank information used, while others had their photos used by people they do not know. These are just a few reasons why you should keep your posts private.
Facebook posts can even cost you your job. There are a number of cases like this. Some employees add their employer in their friends list only to talk about their employer in a negative manner later on. Those who have done this have lost their jobs. Whether they forgot the people they have added on their Facebook accounts or not, the lesson in this story is one should be very careful of the things one posts online be it in private or in public.
The importance of putting together a restricted list is a good idea because if, for example, you are applying for a job, some HR managers can opt to take a look at your public posts and these posts will be enough for HR managers to get a feel of who you are, the things you believe in, or worse, the stupid things you have said and done. While it is true that as humans, we all make mistakes, in the eyes of an employer, drinking liquor at the office, for example, is definitely a big no-no.
Before you post anything, you should take a look if the post is public or can only be seen by your friends’ list or your “friends of friends.” Changing your privacy settings will help you filter who sees your posts and allows you to block certain friends in your friends’ list from seeing certain posts. Here’s Mashable’s article on How to (and why) Create a Restricted List on Facebook.