9 Social Media Mistakes That Put Your Family at Risk

Social media can be a world of fun—we share our lives on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, and the benefits of being able to stay connected to family, friends and loved ones are immense.

But are you sharing TOO much?

Thieves and criminals are known to troll social media sites for information they can use to get at your bank accounts, credit cards, or even inside your home.

Since cyber fraud and crime is on the rise (statistic?), today I’m sharing with you…


1. Always assume what you post on the Internet is public knowledge.

I don’t know about you, but I often find that somehow my Facebook privacy settings have been changed to public. Facebook rules the world, so I don’t fight it, but I also don’t post anything I can’t have the entire world knowing.

2. Never, ever give out your social security number or drivers license numbers over social media or email.

If I need to send confidential data, I upload a scanned document to a secure box.com portal, which allows me to confidently share and still have control of the information.

3. Set up a Google alert with your name so that you know if your name is published on the Internet.

4. Your mother’s maiden name is probably easy to figure out on Facebook. Consider masking it.

Instead of using your ACTUAL mother’s maiden name for password security verification questions, consider a masked name. In other words, give your mother a NEW maiden name.

5. Don’t ever, (ever!), announce that you are going on vacation or post live photos of your vacation until you get HOME from vacation.

Yes, this means you can’t get live feed back on those toes up against the surf photos, but it does mean you have much less reason to fear coming home to a ransacked house.

6. Make sure you log out of your brokerage and banking sites completely by hitting “log out” when you’re done working there.

7. Avoid listing the following information publicly:

  •  Your birth place
  • Your year of high school graduation
  • Your date of birth
  • Your mother’s maiden name

8. Vary your financial website passwords, and change your banking and brokerage passwords frequently.

9. Check your bank account and credit card transactions every day.

I talk about this all the time and I’m convinced it’s a baseline for financial health and security. You can use a financial aggregator tool like Mint.com or Guidefinancial.com where you can see them all in one place. Then you’ll know as soon as possible if fraud has occurred and can alert your bank and start the process to get your money back.