07 June 2018

Don't share every detail of your life on social media

Oversharing on social media could put you at risk of fraud, yet according to our recent survey, 83% of people aged 16-25 know someone who puts personal information online.

While most of us wouldn't give a stranger access to our personal data, many of us don't think twice about putting the gritty details of our lives all over the internet.

We've conducted a social experiment - watch the video

8 in 10 young people know someone who overshares online, so we conducted a social experiment to see if this is true.

We got customers to like a restaurant’s Facebook page for a 25% discount using their Facebook profiles, our fraudster was able to gain access into their private lives.

Think about the information you are sharing, so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and check your privacy settings.


Fraudster 1: Hi, Okay, I’m ready, I’ve chosen my mark, I’m just getting the information now.

Florence, she’s blonde hair, black top, do you see her?

Fraudster 2: Uhum...

Fraudster 1: Okay she got with engaged recently. Her name is Evie, her mum is an artist and she likes to surf.

Fraudster 2: Great

Fraudster 2: Evie, right?

Evie: Yeah.

Fraudster 2: Yeah yeah, we went on that surfing trip together back in 2015

Evie: Right

Fraudster 2: Oh my gosh, Flo congratulations on the engagement

Fraudster 2 to Evie: Is your mum still doing art?

Evie: Yeah, yeah

Fraudster 2: ‘Cause I saw one of her works in the gallery down the road

Florence: Sorry who are you?

Megan: Sorry, do I know you?

Jake: Sorry, how do you know that?

Fraudster 2 to Evie: Keep in touch

What is oversharing?

Social media was designed for people to share, so how do we know when we've gone too far?

According to our data, oversharing is a no-holds-barred approach to using social media. Those who overshare post constantly, and keep very little secret.

Of the people we spoke to, 62% have witnessed oversharing relating to relationships, health and political beliefs, while 56% say their friends often share their current location. Holiday updates are also commonly shared, which could put you at risk of burglary.

Sharing extra information like your address, phone number and workplace location could also put you at risk of fraud.

While oversharing is an issue among younger people, the majority still have their heads screwed on when it comes to privacy settings. 64% of those surveyed have their settings turned to fully private across the majority of their social media accounts.

Social media account hacking

Despite privacy settings, social media account hacking is still prevalent. A fifth of survey respondents have had their social media accounts hacked. Just under a quarter had their accounts hacked because they clicked on a link their friends sent them that wasn't genuine.

Once a hacker gains access to your account, they are able to view any information you've posted online, even if your privacy settings are on maximum. Hackers can then use this to get hold of bank details and other sensitive information.

Of those respondents who said they had been hacked, 11% said either themselves or a friend has lost money as a result and 11% had their account duplicated.

Tips for staying safe on social media

  • Be wary of clicking on links, even if they have been sent by someone you trust. If you're unsure, confirm the source of the link before you click or just ignore the link entirely
  • Don't share your bank details or any other sensitive information over instant messenger. Even though this seems private, it can be easily accessed if someone hacks your account
  • Review your privacy settings and decide who you want to see your posts
  • Don't accept requests from people you don't know
  • Review your friends list to see if there are contacts you've only met once or twice, or haven't seen in many years
  • Be careful about the personal information you make available online. Consider removing your birthday, place of birth and any other personal details that could be used to steal your identity
  • Avoid tagging yourself when you are at home or at work, as it can show where you live and when you are out of the house
  • Don't announce when you're on holiday, as this alerts people your house is empty

Do you overshare on social media?

Take the quiz to find out how much of an oversharer you are.

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