Technology is part of life, and unless you’re planning to live off the grid in the wilderness, it will remain part of our everyday experiences. Our mobile devices are used for communication, social interaction, shopping, banking, maintaining fitness, lifestyle, among numerous other possible activities all at our fingertips. When using technology and more importantly the internet, it’s crucial to remember the often-unspoken truths about online socializing.

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Protect Yourself

When you begin utilizing the internet, it’s important to factor in certain risks. While we may not want to think about it, there are certain people online who are out to hurt or take advantage of others. Posting photos of your home or address, newly purchased items, or even your frequent schedule could potentially open you up to theft if someone, even within your own friend group, wants to take advantage of you.

When browsing your favorite social sites, checking your email, or potentially buying something from an online marketplace you should be alert when dealing with online strangers. Be aware of the signs and never give personal information to someone you have met online.

What Your Profile Says

Social media allows us to stay in contact with our friends, family, and often meet people from all over the world, but you should be smart when posting online and think about what your profile says about who you are, what you stand for, and how your thoughts and actions reflect your family and career.

When you are posting online, remember to think about your employer and their online policies, many of which could still be in effect even if you are off the clock. Most social media platforms have privacy settings. Still, even with those in place, the world can be very small. If you are friends with a co-worker and post something, details on your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter post can spread through your whole office, including to your manager or HR department. It’s very easy for anyone to take a screenshot of your post.

Your Online Legacy

The online world can feel anonymous and people may often forget that they are still accountable for their actions.  The internet is a great place to share content and ideas, but it’s important to think about your future while you comment or post, even if you think you’re hidden.

It’s nearly impossible to know if something is truly removed from the internet. Years, or even decades down the road, a screen shot or saved image years could affect your social life, career and other opportunities. Businesses do not want the bad PR that comes along with an employee’s poorly worded or offensive post. The important takeaway is to think before you post.