Most of us use the Internet day in, day out, not putting too much thought into what we're doing. We go online; we do what we need to do out of convenience or sheer desire; and we move on. But there really are certain things we shouldn't willy-nilly do on the Internet, as they could have serious repercussions. I'm not talking about being unfriended on Facebook here. I'm talking about having your identity stolen or bank account wiped out. No bueno.
Here are 8 things you just shouldn't do online.
1. Don't bank in a public place. Okay, so you really need to check your balance, or transfer money from one account to another -- wait until you go home to do so. Public Wi-Fis are notoriously unsafe, and when you access such private information in a public place, you're putting yourself in a very precarious position. Not worth it.
2. Don't respond to spam. You may have an urge to click the "unsubscribe" button or send a long email rant as to why these people need to stop emailing you -- but don't. When you do that, you both let the spammer know that your address is "live", making it more valuable when they sell it to other spammers; and you reveal the route your message took, server by server. That's not good. You don't want to do that.
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3. Don't publicize on social media sites when you're going to be out of town. Would you put a sign out in front of your home advertising when you're going to be on vacation?
4. Don't meet strangers you meet online in non-public places. Sure, we're in the age of e-dating, and e-everything, but just as you shouldn't get into the car with a random stranger, you shouldn't privately meet with a random stranger.
5. Don't ignore people's request for privacy. You friend request someone and they deny you. Yes, it's a blow to your self-esteem, but they're obviously doing so for a reason. It may not be because they think you're a jerk, but just because they're a private person. Respect that -- don't try to "friend" them again.
6. Don't post photos of yourself drinking, partying, or doing anything even mildly incriminating. It WILL come back to haunt you one day -- probably when you're applying for a job.
7. Don't post work information on social networking sites. You may be super excited about an upcoming project, but resist the urge to post. What may be an innocent tweet to you could be valuable information to a competitor.
8. Don't be inconsistent with your real life. If you call out of work sick, you best just stay off social networking sites. You may just be running to the drug store, but if you "check in" somewhere via Foursquare, it could look shady to your boss.
What are some things you would never post online?
Image via dougwoods/Flickr