Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


How much information is too much?

Online information

The popularity of social media channels has increased rapidly in recent years. What started out as something that was used almost exclusively by the younger generation has evolved into a tool that people in all walks of life use as means of socialising, sharing photos, organising social events and staying in touch.

It’s true that social media networks have almost revolutionised the manner in which we communicate, socialise and stay in touch. We’re a world that is almost constantly connected. But as more and more of us are migrating to social media channels as a way of staying in touch, how many of us stop to contemplate the information we are sharing?

Cybercrime has reportedly risen by 26% over the course of 2013, so perhaps it is worth considering how transparent we make our personal lives, who can see this information and how might it be used against us to gain access to our bank details or other online accounts?

The biggest mistake we make is being led to believe that it is safe to share as much information as possible via our social media networks. Many social media sites are not policed yet as they’re perfectly legitimate and international companies, many people trust that giving their personal information is safe.

In addition, many social media networks gain revenue from targeted advertising, which is why so many encourage users to complete a “full profile” where they complete all fields from their date of birth to their address to their town of birth. Moreover, ever since the most recent Facebook facelift, I’ve been prompted to update more and more information and constantly being told that I’ve only completed 90% of my profile – as is 90% is not a lot!?

online profile

Yet the more information we provide, the more likely it is that our identity and the security of our information can be compromised. While it might seem harmless to share this information amongst our online network of friends, fraudsters can easily use information such as your full name (particularly if you include your middle name), address, home town and relationship status all of which are can be used maliciously against you.

It’s worth considering how much of this information can be used to complete a form for other online accounts or even for a credit card application. Even using a profile picture can be used for fraudulent applications such as a drivers licence or passport.

Whilst your date of birth is a usual requirement of most application forms, it can also be used by fraudsters to try and guess passwords and banks PINs.

Even information that might seem harmless enough to share, such as your pet’s name, can be used to answer secret questions in the event of a forgotten password, enabling identity thieves to gain access to your online accounts.


t’s important to remain vigilant online and while social media channels have changed the way we communicate, your private information should remain secure. The Cybercrime Index is a free tool from Norton which alerts users to suspicious activity as well as real-time cybercrime happening around the world. With a little common sense and the right tools, social networking can be a safe way to communicate without having to worry about our information getting into the wrong hands.

I was encouraged to write this post as part of a PR activity, but all words and thoughts are my own.


  1. Some people really have no clue how danger sharing information on the net could be...
    It would be nice to see more education about this at schools ...

  2. This is such an important topic and really needs more recognition! Great post!
    Linda x

  3. I wrote a similar post to this a couple of weeks ago and I actually scared myself a little! I thought I was really careful until I wrote about it. Scary stuff!!

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

  4. This does need more recognition. It's getting more and more important because some people are vulnerable to technology and will be naive when it comes to sharing certain info xx

  5. Fantastic post and needs more exposure, it is a very important topic and I don't think enough people take it seriously!


Lovely comments

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