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How Much Should We Share? Internet Tips for Website Safety

Remember when the Internet became a common thing and everyone and their mother was concerned with how much Internet users were sharing online? We are far away from that now. The pure existence of social networks shows that. The prevalence of blogs, where people literally share their lives with strangers, provides another example.

But the question still lives – how much should we share about ourselves online? And at what point does website safety become a concern?

Internet tips for website safety

Pretty much everyone avoids posting about bodily functions. You can usually tell when someone’s Facebook has been “hacked” when they post a status about poop. And when it comes to health conditions, it’s pretty hit or miss. I know friends who have a chronic illness, but you would never know it from their social media presence. I personally talk about it (more on Twitter than Facebook) because 1) that’s a huge part of my life and I’m not going to ignore it online and 2) it’s an easy way to update everyone on what’s going on.

We all know people who post about family or relationship problems online, and everyone cringes at them and wished they didn’t post it. (If you’re one of those people who posts passive aggressive things about friends or relationship issues, please know that it makes everyone uncomfortable.) Sometimes, we see older family members post things online that we really wish they hadn’t. But how do we explain that to them? It’s not like there are hard and fast rules for everyone to abide by on the Internet.


Then there’s the logical side of too much sharing. You don’t want to post pictures of your credit card, for example. Or, similarly, information that could lead to your identity being stolen or you being robbed. It’s a bad idea to post your address as well as all your expensive items (TVs, electronics, jewelry, etc.) and how long you’re going to be out of town, unless you’re looking to invite robbers. Those are both two important elements of website safety.

But the thing is that the Internet is forever. Even if you delete something, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be found or that it was truly gone in the first place. I feel like this was drilled into our heads last decade, and then it stopped being talked about as much because all Internet users knew it. And now we have a new generation arriving to the Internet in the past 5 years or so who don’t know as much about website safety as we do.

This is a bit of a rambling post. The point is that we need to remember that what we post online can stay with us. When future employers look for us, what will they come up with? What will they find? How will they feel about what they see? And if you don’t care about what your employers think, ask yourself what your children or grandchildren or future spouse’s family will find if they search for you. If you legitimately do not care, that’s great, and congratulations. Just remember that nothing you put online can ever truly go away.

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  • Reply Linè Waterson

    This is so true. When I look at my social media, a lot of people seem to forget what to keep private and what is worth sharing. Great post! 🙂

    July 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm
  • Reply eHa

    I try to keep my blog relatively anonymous though I am sure if anyone really wanted to they could find out where I live and work. So I feel comfortable sharing more personal things since I try to paint a full and realistic picture of my life good and bad. I never post about traveling until I've gotten back unless I am traveling to visit my family and my husband is staying home so the house isn't empty.

    For social media identified with me I am trying to be more careful. I've stopped posting about politics. No body needs to be offended by my opinions. But I post generally about my health conditions that don't involve my reproductive organs or anything in that part of my body. But my allergies, asthma, and eczema get mentioned when they're acting up. People need to know why I'll be staying inside this weekend (tree pollen + allergy triggered asthma = disaster) and that the hideous looking rash on my arms isn't contagious.

    I've been thinking about social media privacy for my future children recently though. Should I share pictures of my as of yet unborn children toddling around in their diapers on Facebook?

    July 17, 2014 at 12:09 am
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