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Once upon a time, Facebook was merely a social media platform, where we shared photos of our family vacations, caught up with old friends, and pinned pieces of “Flair” to our profiles.

Today—whether we like it or not—Facebook is an integral part of our lives, with over 2.6 billion monthly active users. While Facebook has helped us stay connected with friends and family around the world, it comes with a dark side. The things you share on Facebook can not only embarrass you years down the line, but pose a serious risk to your reputation and security. 

Today, we are going to walk you through five things that you should NEVER post on Facebook. If you are more of a visual learner, watch our latest Tech Tip video to follow along with tech expert Riley. Let’s get started!

What Not to Post on Facebook

1. Data tied to your financial security. You wouldn’t post your Social Security or bank account number on Facebook, would you? Unfortunately, those are not the only pieces of information that criminals can use to steal your identity. Avoid posting any data that may be tied to your personal or financial security, including your home address, your telephone number, and your birth year.

2. Your vacation plans. You may be excited about your upcoming vacation in the Bahamas, but you shouldn’t brag about it on Facebook (at least until you get home). Criminals can use social media platforms like Facebook to identify potential targets, and nothing says “Rob Me!” quite like a home lying vacant for a week.

3.Any clues to your location. On that note, avoid posting about your location whenever possible. A photo from the airport, the mall, or a restaurant tells potential thieves that you aren’t home, and you probably won’t be for a while. Wait until you get home to share the #foodie photo of your dinner.

4. Complaints about your job or employer. Everybody needs to let off some steam from time to time, but keep your work-related rants off of Facebook. Even if you delete your complaint shortly after you post it, screenshots can easily make their way back to your boss—and cost you your job.

5. (Too many) photos of your kids This is a particularly hard rule to follow. Every parent wants to show off their child’s kindergarten graduation, soccer championship, and lead role in the school play. However, before you post hundreds of photos of your child online, consider the consequences: over-”sharenting” is increasingly putting children at risk for identity theft, humiliation, privacy violations, and future discrimination. This does not mean you should never post about your children; instead, consider giving more thought to what you post, removing unnecessary information like geotags, and talking to your kids about what they feel comfortable having online about them.

That’s it for this edition of Tech Tips! Check back soon for another tip to make your technology work for you.

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