Cybersecurity Focus of the Month: Oversharing

Odds are that you have recently seen something posted to social media and commented in surprise “I can’t believe someone posted this online!” This all-too-common occurrence happens to everybody who uses social media. Unfortunately, this includes cyber criminals that troll social media sources looking for this information to use for their own devious purposes.

Merriam-Webster defines the act of posting too much information online as “Oversharing.”

For example, if you post pictures and stories of your first pet, this can be used to reset a password that uses “Name of your first pet” as a validation question. As well, if you post a video during vacation, and it is liked by a loved one, a scammer can contact them pretending to be you and get them to send money as part of a deepfake scam.

Idaho Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) and Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM) recommends when posting to social media to take a second look and ask the question, “What could a very bad person do with this?”  Also, next time when you see a post by someone close to you and think, “I can’t believe that somebody posted this online,” consider letting them know that they may have overshared.

Protect your social media accounts

Steps to take to protect your information include:

  • Avoid oversharing online. Protect your critical information and ensure your family and friends don’t post personal details.
  • Check the privacy settings and use the highest privacy setting available.
  • Be selective of friend and connection requests. Avoid communicating with strangers online.
  • Turn off location settings and avoid check-ins, especially in real time.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious messages, links or posts.
  • Report concerns. If you see something, say something.
  • Use strong, complex passwords for all your accounts and two-step authentication, when available.

For more information on oversharing and tips to protect you and your information, please visit these resources: