Leave a comment

5 details Facebook asks for that you shouldn't give

Facebook is all about making it easy to share your life with your friends and family. Unfortunately, there are just some things you shouldn't share online. These bits of information can put you in danger of identity theft, losing your job or causing other major headaches. We're going to cover five of the biggest offenders you should just leave alone.

Before we get to those, however, this is a good time to remind you that Facebook has a range of privacy controls to limit what certain people can see about you. If you set those controls correctly, you can head off a lot of problems. Follow our step-by-step instructions to keep strangers and snoops out of your Facebook profile. Once you've done that, keep reading to find out what you still shouldn't post on Facebook.

1. Your phone number

It's a good idea to avoid having your home or cellphone numbers on your Facebook page. Prank callers, stalkers and even identity thieves can use this information to ruin your day.

Not only that but people who have your cellphone number, which isn't hard to find online, can use it to search for you on Facebook. This means that any number of weirdos can get access to your Facebook page's information.

One security researcher, Reza Moaiandin, took it a step further and found he didn't even need to know a specific phone number. He wrote a script to generate every possible number in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Then he submitted the numbers to Facebook and got back information from millions of profiles that had poor privacy settings. If he wanted to, he could have turned around and sold the information on the black market to hackers who build and sell "fullz" or packages of identity information.

There are times you do want to give your phone number to Facebook, such as turning on two-factor authentication. Learn why turning on two-factor authentication is a good idea. If you do give your phone number to Facebook, however, you should be sure to hide it in your profile

Go to Facebook and click on your name at the top of the page. When your profile page loads, click the "About" tab just below your cover image. Go to "Contact and Basic Info" in the left column and click the hyperlink that says "Add a mobile phone."

Click the audience selector icon to the right, which is a silhouette of two people and change it to "Only me." Now no one but you can see your phone number, and it won't show up in searches.

Next page: Another bit of contact information to avoid
Stop Facebook from following you around the web
Previous Tips

Stop Facebook from following you around the web

Avoid getting burned by these travel scams this summer
Next Tips

Avoid getting burned by these travel scams this summer

View Comments ()