Twitter is a network that praises transparency. If you’re honest about who you are, you can’t go wrong in your tweets, right?
Well, there’s honest as in “I made a mistake and now I’m owning up to it”, but there’s also honest as in “here is all my personal info, do with it what you will”. In your path to honesty and transparency online, here are 5 things you should never, ever share.
Your phone number
Don’t tweet your digits. Your Twitter follower can reach you in 140 characters, and maybe on your Facebook page and your blog… they don’t need to call you at 3a.m. with their brilliant retorts and cool articles they’re reading.
It’s probably a good idea to even avoid sending your number via direct message, as technical (and human) errors do happen, and if your number somehow makes it onto your public timeline, even a quick “delete” won’t be enough to battle waves of retweets.
Your home address
Like your phone number, your home address is just a little too personal to be shared via Twitter. There have been cases of criminal watching Twitter accounts to collect data like the individual’s home address and their vacation days, and then stroll on up to their empty and vulnerable home while they’re on a sandy beach, blissfully unaware of being robbed. Save your plasma TV and don’t post your address to Twitter.
Your body parts
Hands are OK. Face is fine. but below the belt shots are just too much for Twitter.
Learn from the most notorious body part tweeter, Anthony Wiener, whose political and personal life was shattered all because he decided posting a picture of his nether-regions to Twitter was a good idea. To be fair, Wiener did mean to send his racy photo via direct message, but slipped up and sent it to the entire world.
So keep your private parts off Twitter in any capacity, and save them for a mistaken entire-email-addressbook-cced message instead.
Your credit card and banking information
Yes people actually do this. And if you’re one, be ashamed.
Posting your credit card number is a big no-no, but so is posting a picture of your credit card itself. There’s even a Twitter account shaming people who have been so excited after opening that nondescript white envelope with their new card in it that they had to share a picture of it on Twitter.
If your credit card or debit card digits are visible in a pic on Twitter, you can bet there’s already a scammer copying them down in a hurry, ready for a shopping spree on Amazon. Save yourself a headache – and some money – and keep your credit card and banking information off Twitter.
What’s your mother’s maiden name? Or the name of your first pet? If you’re answering questions like these, chances are you’re being duped.
Most password recovery questions are personal like the ones above, so think carefully about divulging anything about your childhood or family on Twitter. Even things like birthdays can be used by a skillful hacker.
When it comes to your privacy on Twitter, you’re always better safe than sorry. So go ahead and tweet a picture of that amazing pasta you just made, but just make sure your bank card and vacation plans aren’t in the shot too.
(Woman at computer image via Shuttersock)