Would you ever pull out your credit card at a bus stop and show it to a bunch of strangers that also ride the bus?
Or would you post photos from your last party on your career social media platform? Would you give a known criminal your home address or phone number?
Most us would say “NO” to these questions, without realizing that we're actually partaking in those activities when we post photos online publicly.
Since many of the photos we post online are public (and can be seen by our bosses, strangers, criminals, etc.), it's very important to consider three things before posting.
Do My Photos Contain Personal Information?
Personal information can be any information that helps to identify you. Some examples are your name, phone number, and home address.
Before you post any photos online:
Check to make sure they do not contain any personal information you may not want others to see. If they do, you can always retake the photo or crop/blur out the information.
Verify that your photos do not contain any location markers.
You take a photo of your adorable pet, but realize your credit card number is visible in the photo. What can you do before posting to keep your information safe?
Who Can See My Photos?
Photos posted to public accounts, including social media, can be seen by your family, friends, employer, future employers, and even strangers.
So before posting any photos online:
Consider whether the photo is appropriate for any audience. Would your boss or grandmother approve?
Choose your privacy settings wisely. If you don't want strangers viewing your photos, don't make your account public.
Who can see photos posted to social media accounts whose privacy settings are set to Public?
Are My Photos Appropriate For The Platform I Am Using?
There are many social media sites online. Some platforms may be career based (LinkedIn) or blog based (Facebook).
So before posting any photos online, consider whether your photos are appropriate for the platform you are using:
Photos of you with family and friends are appropriate for blog based social media accounts.
When posting to career focused sites, make sure you look polished and your attire is appropriate for the field you are in.
Which photo would be appropriate to post on your career social media page?
Before you post your next photo online, take some time to think about:
What your photo contains
Who can see it
Whether or not it is appropriate for the platform you are using
Once you have taken these three factors into consideration, you can feel more confident in the safety and appropriateness of your posts. It is never a bad thing to be too safe, especially online. Happy posting!