Social media has changed the way we live and work. Many of us spend hours on social media each day, connecting with friends and family, learning about new products, and watching funny videos.

Social media can be a positive force in your life, but it can also get you in trouble. If you aren’t careful, your personal relationships, your job, and even your safety could be in jeopardy because of what you choose to share online.

It Can Impact Legal Proceedings

Are you working with an attorney on a case? The last thing you should do is talk about it online. You could find that it affects your case in a bad way.

In many states, what you do online can be used in court proceedings against you. For example, if you are at home with a back injury, looking to settle a personal injury case and you post pictures of yourself miniature golfing and hiking on your social media accounts, it’s not going to look good for your case.

That’s not all. Many people have been arrested for the things they post, you may prove yourself wrong in a child custody case, and your divorce may not go the way you hoped if you start posting things online that you shouldn’t.

Do yourself a favor and don’t post anything that has to do with your current case. If you aren’t sure if a post could be used against you, always err on the side of caution, which means not posting it. If you’re finding the whole thing confusing, you may want to deactivate your accounts until there is a ruling in your case.

You Can Unknowingly Invite Burglars to Your Home

Part of being on social media is sharing what you’re up to, and there’s no better time to share than when you’re on vacation! Many people take beautiful, enviable pictures when they’re on vacation and post them to social media, but that’s a bad idea.

You shouldn’t post anything about your vacation while you’re away from home. That includes pictures as well as updates about where you’re staying, what you’re eating, and what you’re doing. Instead, act like you aren’t on vacation at all by only posting things you would normally post. That way your extended network doesn’t know you aren’t at home and they aren’t tempted to stop by and burglarize your house while you’re gone.

You Can Get Fired

Your personal social media accounts shouldn’t affect your job, should they? It’s true that they can’t just fire you because they don’t agree with the kinds of things you post online, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fire you at all. There are reasons your boss can terminate you based on your social media presence.

The biggest is violating company policy. For example, if you share company information, provide references online when your contract prohibits it, or you make negative and disparaging comments about a coworker, it could be grounds for termination.

Know the details of your contract so you don’t accidentally throw yourself under the bus. Even better, avoid talking about work matters online. Instead, vent to close friends in person, if there are things you want to get off your chest.

Your Personal Information Could Be Stolen

If you get a little too personal on social media, you could find yourself a victim of identity theft, and there’s no end to the things fraudsters can do when they get ahold of your information!

There are personal pieces of information that you should never share online. They include:

Phone number
Birth date
Bank account information
Family members’ names

It Can Drain Your Bank Account

Hackers can use your information to do things like take out loans in your name, but one of the biggest impacts it can have on your life is your bank account. With just a few pieces of personal information that you shared on social media, a thief can make off with your information, withdraw money from your bank account, and max out your credit cards.

That’s not all! Identity thieves can also sell your information, even if they don’t use it themselves. That means you could find you have trouble with your bank account, savings accounts, and credit over and over again as your information is sold.

It Can Uncover Lies

It’s funny when other people get caught lying about stupid stuff online, but it’s one thing to get caught photoshopping your abs and quite another to be caught being dishonest about things that matter.

Did you call in sick, but then post a picture hanging out with your friends? Maybe you told another friend you couldn’t make it to their party because you had a family obligation, but then your social media reveals you were actually hanging out with someone else?

If you aren’t careful, your social media could pin you as a liar. It can impact your relationships with people at your job, but it can also affect the relationships you have with your friends and family.

It Can Impact Relationships With Friends and Family

If you’re caught lying by friends and family, your relationship is going to suffer. It’s easy for them to wonder what else you may have lied about, which means they will find it very difficult to trust you in the future.

Social media affects relationships in many ways. If you don’t get caught lying online, but you’re always on your phone when you’re supposed to be enjoying dinner with a loved one or hanging out with family, your relationships are going to suffer too.

Just because social media can impact your life in negative ways doesn’t necessarily mean you have to delete your accounts altogether! Social media can be positive too. You just have to make sure you use it the right way so your identity isn’t stolen, your home isn’t burglarized while you’re on vacation, and your professional and personal relationships don’t suffer.