Over the last decade, social media has completely changed the way we interact with our friends, family and, let’s face it, sometimes a total bunch of strangers.
This is particularly the case with Facebook. The social networking site, which was launched all the way back in 2004, has seen billions of users all over the world share statuses, photos, and events with various people.
The site plays a huge role in our everyday lives, however, it has come to light recently that sites such as Facebook could potentially pose a risk to our overall privacy on the web.
I am, of course, referring to the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which 87 million Facebook users from around the world had their personal data harvested.
In light of this, there are certain pieces of information that you should probably emit from your Facebook page such as your home address and where you went to school.
By the way, if you want to learn how to bulk delete all your Facebook posts, here it is:
Now while some Facebook users have felt so violated by the whole fiasco that they decided to delete their accounts, others have decided to hold onto their accounts in spite of the scandal.
If you also don’t feel the need to get rid of your account but want to protect your privacy as much as possible, you might want to delete these 12 things:
1. Your “friends”
According to Oxford psychology professor Robin Dunbar, people can maintain about 150 healthy relationships. After monitoring the activity of 3,375 Facebook users, Dunbar came to the conclusion that out of their Facebook friends, 4.1 were considered reliable and dependable, and 13.6 showed sympathy during an “emotional crisis”. Deleting the “friends” who don’t serve you anyway will make your time on social media much healthier and worthwhile.
2. Your birthday
If con artists have access to your birthday, it means it will be a lot easier for them to get access to your personal details and bank account.
3. Your phone number
If you include your phone number on your Facebook profile, you could be at risk of gaining a stalker who calls you nonstop.
4. Photographs of young children
Victoria Nash, the acting director of the Oxford Internet Institute, asked a very eye-opening question about whether or not children consent to having their photos splashed across various social media pages.
“What type of information would children want to see about themselves online at a later date?” she asked.
In the past, this was never something that needed to be considered but with social media and the internet in general, this is something that we now need to start thinking about.
5. Where your child goes to school
According to a report by the NSPCC, the number of sexual offenses on record has very harrowingly increased over the last year or so.
The report reads:
“Police recorded 36,429 sexual offenses against children in the UK in 2013/2014… in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland police recorded the highest number of sexual offenses against children in the past decade.”
Anyone with young children will want to avoid giving sex offenders more of an opportunity to find out where their children go to school.
6. Location services
In 2015, it was reported by TechCrunch that more than 500 million people used Facebook solely from their cell phones. This means that the same number could potentially broadcast their location to the web, and so anyone, including those who pose a threat, could find out where you are.
7. Your manager or CEO
Depending on how private your Facebook profile is, there is a chance that the CEO or your manager at work could see everything you’ve written on your timeline. They could potentially have access to statuses in which you have complained about work.
8. Please don’t tag your location
If you tag your location at home, you are basically giving away your address.
9. When and where you go on vacation
According to This Is Money, travelers who have their possessions stolen while on vacation risk not having their insurance claim accepted if they had posted their vacation plans on their social media pages.
10. Your relationship status
Getting into a new relationship is always a happy occasion, but I’d suggest not updating your relationship status. Ultimately, the relationship may not last and the change from “in a relationship” to “single” will feel like such a kick in the teeth if it does end.
11. Your credit card details
This should probably have been obvious anyway, but never ever share your credit card details on Facebook.
12. Pictures of your boarding pass
Taking pictures of your boarding pass and posting it on Instagram, for instance, is a definite no-no. The barcode on your boarding pass could potentially be used to find personal information you have given to the airline.
So there you have it: if you want to keep your interactions on Facebook safe, happy and healthy, you should definitely at least consider getting rid of these unnecessary pieces of information.