Think Before You Share: UK Warns About Personal Security Online

By Megan O'Neill Comment

The UK Ministry of Defense has launched a new online video campaign to educate social media users about personal security online and the dangers of sharing too much.  Social networking and check-in sites can be great for keeping in touch with friends and family, but share too much and you may let less friendly characters like stalkers, thieves and rapists, know exactly where you are.

The video campaign includes two videos so far.  One video, covered by our sister site yesterday, warns about the dangers of sharing your location via Twitter and check-in sites like Foursquare.  The second, covered this morning on, warns about posting too much information in your Facebook status updates.  Both videos start out innocently, showcasing the joys of sharing information and communicating via the social web and end up with the protagonists being found, off the web, by a bullet-clad, face mask wearing creep.

The UK Ministry of Defense offers more information on their Personal Security Online website.  They say, “Social networking sites are great for keeping in touch with family and friends, and letting the world know what you’re up to…Remember that there may be those who are using such sites for unsavory reasons.  These range from criminals looking for ways to con you or steal your identity, to those who may wish us harm.  While it is unlikely that you’ll fall victim, you should be aware of the risk.”

While I think that most of us already understand the risk of sharing too much information online, these videos do serve as a wakeup call.  After all, not too long ago most people were afraid to surf the web in any way that wasn’t completely anonymous.  We were warned that meeting strangers online was dangerous and that we should never share our personal information.  Social media has changed all this.  These days many of us want to share as much as we can, from pictures to our location and everything in between.  It has never been more important to double-check our privacy settings and think before we share.  After all, you don’t want your location and other personal information to fall into the wrong hands.

That being said, I think these videos may go just a bit overboard.  They’re using kind of a scare tactic here and hopefully they won’t freak people out so much that they stop posting anything in social networks all together.  What’s your take on the matter?  Let us know in the comments below.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.