Risks of Oversharing on Social Media

Oct 26, 2023

Many of us use social media as a way to stay in touch with family and friends, and keep them up to date on what is going on in our busy lives, and post without a second thought. Recently we have also seen the rise of influencers and the use of social media as a way of generating income through posts and sponsorships. While most of us scroll through the posts and videos during the day for a quick distraction, there are others who use social media as a way to gather information with the intent of using it maliciously for their own gain. Below are some of the risks of oversharing on social media and some of the things to consider before posting. 

Personal Data Exposure: When you share personal information on social media, you expose yourself to the risk of identity theft and fraud. Cybercriminals can use the information you share, such as your full name, date of birth, and location, to impersonate you or launch targeted attacks.

Phishing Attacks: Cybercriminals are adept at crafting convincing phishing messages that use information from your social media profiles. They can design emails or messages that seem to come from trusted sources, making you more likely to click on malicious links or provide sensitive data.

Location Privacy: Many social media platforms allow you to tag your location, which can be especially risky. Sharing your real-time location may put you at risk of physical harm or theft. Moreover, this information can be used to create detailed profiles of your habits and routines.

Social Engineering: Attackers often exploit information gathered from social media to manipulate their targets through social engineering. They can use the details you post to build trust, making it easier to deceive you into revealing sensitive information.

Password Security: Sharing too much information about your personal life may inadvertently expose hints or clues that attackers can use to guess your passwords. For instance, if you frequently share your pet's name and your mother's maiden name, you're making it easier for hackers to crack your security.

Privacy Settings: Many users are unaware of the security settings on social media, and they might inadvertently overshare. Default settings often expose more information than you might be comfortable with, so it's crucial to review and adjust your privacy settings regularly.

Third-Party Applications: Third-party apps and games that request access to your social media profiles can pose a significant security risk. Always scrutinize the permissions requested and the credibility of the app before granting access.

Reputation and Professionalism: Employers and educational institutions often scrutinize social media profiles when considering candidates. Posts that are overly personal, controversial, or offensive can cost you job opportunities, scholarships, or even damage relationships with friends and family.

While social media can be an excellent way to stay connected and share experiences, users must be vigilant about the information they share. Practicing good information security habits is vital to safeguard your personal and professional life. Be mindful of the data you disclose, regularly review your privacy settings, and think twice before hitting that "post" button, and stay cyber-safe.