These tips are good for any online information posting, regardless of the website. If you would like to hear a presentation on any of the below topics, contact Officer Daniel Guilliams to request a program.
Is It Too Much?
Although the normal uses of these websites are fun ways to meet people, too much information makes it way too easy to attract unwanted people. Don't put a phone number, but put an area code if you want others to know your region. If you want to list your age, think about excluding your birthdate. It is easy for criminals or scammers to pretend to be someone else online in order to gather information about you. Not everyone who has a .edu email address is a student. By combining things like Google, VT.edu, AnyWho, etc., with certain information a person can get a map to your door.
If one computer can see it, all computers can see it. Unless encrypted or otherwise secured, nothing is private on the web.
Putting your major may be okay, but never your class schedule. The more vague you are online, the less likely your information will get into the wrong hands.
If someone threatens you online, save the conversation and then report it to the police. 1.4 million men and women are stalked annually. The internet opens that situation up to the entire world. It is possible to be stalked from anywhere, and on the internet the perpetrator is given everything he/she needs to come to you.
Eggs in a Basket
Though it may be easier to remember, you should never use your PID and password for other accounts, including facebook, eBay, Paypal, and other online sites. If one of these service providers were to be compromised an attacker could access all of your accounts. Worse yet, an attacker would have access to your email, which many online service providers use to verify your identity when changing passwords. In essence you could end up locked out of your own accounts.