by Sam Laird
Sharing is the basis of social media, and it can be a beautiful thing. Keeping up with family and friends as kids grow, relationships become marriages and adventures are had —
social media can be tons of fun and helps us feel connected to one another.
But when does all that sharing become too much? And when can what you share online actually become dangerous?
A recent study commissioned by Intel found that 90% of American adults think people share too much, and nearly half of adults find the deluge of information to be overwhelming.
The abundance of information isn't just annoying — it can also make overeager posters targets for scams and other crimes. According to a recent Consumer Reports study — albeit one with some potential flaws — 20.4 million people among Facebook's North American base of approximately 190 million users reveal their full birth date online.
4.8 million broadcast when they're leaving the house, 4.7 million about health conditions, 4.6 million about their love lives and 2.6 million about alcohol use, according to that study.
How can sharing this kind of information become problematic? If the wrong person knows when you're leaving home and for approximately how long, that hypothetically makes a burglar's job much easier. Sensitive details about relationships and wild stories (or photos) of drinking and partying can leave the door open for blackmail or extortion. And personal information such as a full birth date or health condition can make users easier targets for predatory scams.
Of course, many of these potential pitfalls can be avoided by remembering the cardinal rule of social media — privacy settings are key.
The Internet learning portal Online-Education.net recently culled research and reports from a variety of sources to produce the infographic below taking a look at just how much people share online — and whether that crosses the line of good judgement. Check it out for the fuller picture.