Wananga landing Wananga landing

Self made target - Oversharing

30 October 2023

Do you share thoughts and memories, pictures of holidays, gatherings, and other adventures? Most of us do but what if we told you that you've probably shared enough information publicly for your identity to be stolen? Learn more about oversharing online.


Do you share thoughts and memories, pictures of holidays, gatherings and other adventures? Do you share these things on one or more social media platforms?

Most of us do, and that’s cool. But what if we told you that the odds are that you have shared enough information publically for your identity to be stolen? (or your reputation seriously messed with).

Not so cool? You’d be surprised?

You shouldn’t be really.

The whole business model of social media platforms is to get you to share information with them under the guise of you sharing information with your friends and family.

OK, let's talk through a couple of examples of what criminals do with this information:



This is where scammers create a fake Facebook profile by using images and other information stolen from a targeted user’s real Facebook profile.  

The more stuff you share publicly, the more realistic this fake account can be made to look.


But why?
  • So the scammer can connect with your friends, who may think you accidentally unliked them.  Once they are connected to your friends they can send messages to try and scam them “I'm stuck in country XXX {the one you just posted pics from}, I've been robbed, can you send me money”.
  • Or to send links to malware-infected websites, or, just maliciously trash your reputation and friendships.


Information Theft

Criminals trawl social media for information;

  • pics of tickets so they can duplicate barcodes and sell them,
  • holiday posts to facilitate burglary, and,
  • personal information to crack passwords or steal identities.

Criminals harvest sufficient information about you take out credit cards, purchase goods, open phone accounts etc. (undoing this is a REAL headache).

Things that can give away key information about you that criminals would love to know;

Having posts about your birthday publicly visible. (Gives away your date of birth)

“Thanks for helping me celebrate my 21st last night everyone…”

Mentioning your hometown, or birth town. (Gives away birth location)

“Wellington born and raised baby….”

Using your full name anywhere (umm.. this one is obvious, it gives away your full name)

Avoid the cute #club22a type hashtags where you reference part of your address (gives away your address)

“Who’s coming to #club22a for some drinks tonight?”

Those are just examples of how you might accidentally leak all the information that is needed to set up a credit card in your name.


Other Things to Avoid Publically Posting or Referring To

  • Pets names
  • Relationship status, partners name
  • Intention to travel
  • Holiday pics if your home is going to be empty
  • Recurring check-ins to favourite cafés, bars or shops
  • Posting pics of, or any part of, personal mail, official documents, tickets, receipts, your car, computer screens. (Thinks about what is in the background and foreground of pics too)
  • Intentions of going somewhere, eg “I'm going to see Endgame at the Palms tonight” (Smart celebs check in to places when they leave, (not when they arrive) if they check-in at all)

Everything you share, like and comment on says something about you –so please think before you hit the ‘post’ button.

Just take a little time and ask yourself.

  • Have you ever looked at the privacy settings?
  • Have you thought about the information you are putting out to the world? (not how many Likes you'll get, but the data you are leaking)
  • Ever stopped to consider what someone could deduce about you if they looked through your social media posts?
  • How much of what you share is public?
  • How many of your Friends and Followers do you really know? Are they all real people?
  • That thing you are about to share, do you need to share it?
  • Avoid sharing things to ‘PUBLIC’ where at all possible


One last tip

Avoid doing dumb things, especially on camera. 

This is Kim K playing poker while wearing mirrored sunglasses:

Kim K playing poker

This is Kayne typing in his phones unlock pin while surrounded by cameras:

Hand on keyboard

How to Report a Cybersecurity Incident

Ring the IT Service Desk

0508 UC IT HELP (0508 824 843) or
03 369 5000

Visit the IT Service Desk
located in the ground floor of Matariki

Log a ticket
on UC Services Portal

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.