Sharing is Great, But it Could Come With a Cost!

Sharing is how we spread and gain knowledge nowadays. It is also a great way for us to become sociable. However, putting too much personal information online, could cost you your insurance benefits.

Insurance companies apparently found yet another way to reduce their losses. An article by the UK’s Daily Mail claims that in the future claims could be rejected if customers had been ‘reckless’ with information they posted online. A spokeswoman for Hiscox Insurance admits it would consider rejecting applications outright from celebrities who write about their personal lives on Twitter because they are making themselves vulnerable to being targeted.

199 - Danger sign

Simply posting a picture of your car, or details about which phone network you use, is now enough for many scammers to be able to hack your computer and steal your bank details within minutes.

One example given included a man who faced losing thousands after a picture of his new car posted online gave scammers enough detail to trick him into opening an email, which appeared to be from the DVLA.

‘One friend of mine recently updated his status to say he was annoyed with his phone network. A hacker could easily use that information to then get hold of your email address and send an email which looks official saying, “we’re sorry you have had a bad experience, please click on this link for some money back”.’, Oliver Crofton, online security expert, said.

In my option, sharing is great! Let’s face it, it is here to stay. Sharing helps to build trust, allows us to connect with friends and family and even find help, such as buying advice, when needed. It is our responsibility to decide what information we share and with whom. But, too much personal data shared with the wrong crowd can get you into serious trouble.

With Facebook timeline, it is so easy to find out what you were doing and when, it becomes even worse if you Geo tag you status post. The good news is you can turn Facebook Timeline completely off (You’ll find those settings under  Privacy Settings > Timeline and Tagging).  Next time, before you click the “share” button, ask yourself “What if hackers know this?” The same holds true for Twitter or many photo sharing applications.

Sharing could come with a cost!

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  1. Greetings, Invisibler!
    I couldn’t agree more strongly with gist of this. Why do you have so many huge and attractive sharing buttons on the top of each of your posts though? They are almost irresistible. I am not being gratuitously difficult. I like clicking big, colorful sharing buttons. You are making it challenging NOT to share! But in all sincerity, I am not complaining. I like the design and UX of this website, very much.

    Regarding the post: No one should use Facebook who has any sincere interest in preserving privacy. I don’t use any service or website that repeatedly propagates any content I have created (text or image), in ways that were contrary to assurances provided in the service’s fine print disclosures. One time is often enough.

    As for insurance companies: Note the actual quoted comment from the insurance company. It pertains to celebrities. The risks associated with celebrity insurance, and associated costs, are much higher than for individuals. Insurers should be hesitant to cover careless celebrities, as non-celebrities will be hurt by the higher insurance rates that could result.

    Putting that aside, I think that insurance companies need to be VERY careful before using online, user created information to determining insurability. I read an article in The Economist, and by an insurance company advisory service in June of this year. Both emphasized that online information MUST be verified as carefully or more so than other sources, else serious mistakes can be made. Insurance companies shouldn’t try to cut costs by being too hasty to deny insurance, or employers make decisions, based on internet data mining. If they do, I think they will regret it, as mistakes will be made, and unfair decisions result.

    On the other hand, and I think you are trying to sincerely advise readers about this, I agree that it is VERY important not to post photographs that reveal a vehicle license plate, or enable geo-tracking. Why would anyone EVER want to use geo-tracking if given a choice? I don’t understand that at all! Four Square is insane in my opinion. I don’t want anyone to know where I am! It doesn’t benefit me, and can only cause trouble or unneeded complications, in my opinion. The same is true for birth date and address: Unless there is a requirement for the information, which is quite rare, why disclose it to anyone? It is puzzling to me. Life and people are complicated enough. I don’t want details about my behavior and preferences to be known any more than necessary, you know?

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