5 Pieces of Information You Should Never Give Online
Despite the fact that we live in a security-obsessed world, many people willingly give out critical information that makes it easy for online predators to find them and their identities, online and offline. We often forget that things such as our date of birth, phone number, and childhood pet are likely to be used for our own personal passwords for things like bank accounts, email, social media accounts and more. While you are getting to know someone new online, keep these five pieces of information safeguarded until you get to know them better.
Phone, Email, & Date of Birth
Think about every account you have ever set up online. What are the three pieces of information that it asks for? Your phone, email address, and date of birth. With just a few pieces of information, it makes it easy for online predators to set up false accounts using your information. Some of these may be harmless but they make it that much easier for someone to establish a presence and start the process of taking over your identity.
The last piece of information you should give someone you just met online is your physical address. While in many cases, the person you are chatting with is real and polite, there are still those chances that he or she may be an online predator.
Having your physical address gives a stranger the power to stalk you, monitor the comings and goings of your family, and possibly approach you without warning – or attack you. Keep this piece of information safe until you have been on a couple of dates and feel comfortable with this person.
Information About Prized Possessions
When you own something valuable, you want to brag about it. But bragging about it to someone who is essentially a complete stranger is never a good idea. Sadly, there are many people who are always looking for ways to earn a quick dollar by stealing and selling something valuable of someone else’s.
Part of the getting-to-know-you phase of online dating involves talking about where you work or where you or your children go to school. You might think this information is harmless but it gives an online predator the opportunity to find you. Especially when you have children, you should keep their school information to yourself until you have established trust with your online match – after a few dates.
This information really is not important to someone you just met. If they are pushing for the information and vague about theirs then you should assume they have an alternative motive for wanting to know.
Another topic of conversation that opens you up for online predators is talking about money. How much you make, how much you save, your long term financial planning, ect. Until you are ready to share finances, there is no reason to talk about your financial status.
In the online world, a little bit of information can go a long way into finding out more about you. There are countless sites that offer up personal information without people’s consent or knowledge. The better you are at keeping these tidbits under wraps, the easier it will be for you to protect yourself from online threats.