17 Personal Things You Should Never Share With Others

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By Jonathan Trent

As technology is advancing more and more, it’s becoming increasingly important to keep your personal life and digital accounts private, because there’s all sorts of things that could go wrong otherwise. If you’re concerned, start with these 17 examples of personal things you should never disclose to others.

Passwords

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Sharing passwords for your social media, email or other online accounts can have dire consequences. When you share passwords, you’re exposing yourself to security breaches. Your trusted friend today might become your worst enemy tomorrow, or their device might get compromised, putting your accounts at risk.

Personal Identification

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If your Social Security Number (SSN), passport number, or driver’s license number get into the wrong hands, they can wreak havoc on your financial and personal life. With your personal identification, fraudsters can open credit cards, take out loans, or even drain your bank accounts. Yikes!

Home Address

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Unless a legitimate professional requests it, handing over your home address to strangers is never a good idea. National Geographic explains that sharing personal information like this, could make you vulnerable to identity theft and other forms of fraud. Always make sure you get to know someone before giving them such sensitive information.

Past Mistakes

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Revealing past mistakes can lead to stigmatization and prejudice as people may judge you based on your past actions, hindering your chances of personal and professional growth. Some mistakes are no big deal, but sharing details of past arrests, for example, could have all sorts of negative ramifications!

Medical History

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Your medical history contains sensitive information about your health, including chronic illnesses, medications, and mental health struggles. Sharing it violates your right to privacy, as disclosing mental health struggles or chronic illnesses can lead to people snooping, or even stigma and discrimination.

Personal History

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Your personal history could be past health issues, previous romantic relationships, first school… there are countless examples. Either way, Psychology Today encourages you to only share this with people you trust. If you don’t know someone well, who knows–they could use your personal history to crack your passwords!

Personal Goals

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Sharing job interviews, salary negotiations, or business plans can give your competitors an edge, so keep it within close friends. Revealing your goals prematurely can also lead to misinterpretation or misunderstanding, so it’s generally best to wait until you have completed something before you share it with others.

Journals or Diaries

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Journals and diaries can be beneficial as they serve as a space for personal reflection and introspection. Sharing them with others, meanwhile, can compromise their purpose and limit honest self-expression. It’s a violation of your own privacy and undermines your thoughts and emotions, so keep it to yourself!

Hobbies Or Interests

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Sharing your hobbies or interests may sound innocent, but it can inadvertently reveal personal details about your lifestyle, preferences, and routines, potentially compromising your privacy. Furthermore, not everyone will appreciate or understand your hobbies or interests, which may invite unwelcome criticism, judgment, or ridicule.

Achievements

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While it can be tempting to gloat about your accomplishments, sharing your achievements can come across as boastful or arrogant. Keeping them private demonstrates humble confidence and allows your actions to speak louder than words. Share them if someone asks, but don’t go around shouting about your achievements!

Your Insecurities

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Although everyone has insecurities, sharing them can make you vulnerable to exploitation or manipulation by others. Disclosing deep fears or anxieties may exacerbate feelings of insecurity and anxiety, so keep them private to preserve your emotional safety. However, sharing them with a therapist could be a fantastic idea!

Private Struggles

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Many think it’s a good idea to tell other people about their private struggles. However, Psych Central emphasizes that personal struggles and sensitive topics, such as mental health issues or family conflicts, should be shared only with trusted individuals or professionals. It’s a serious topic, so you need to know someone is trustworthy. 

Confidential Conversations

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Confidential conversations are based on trust and mutual respect, so sharing them breaches that trust and undermines the foundation of your relationships. Revealing confidential conversations can also damage your reputation as a trustworthy confidant with people hesitating to confide in you in the future.

Social Life

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Your social life is personal and should be shared only with those you trust; broadcasting it publicly or on social media is not the best idea. It’ll only cause unnecessary comparison and envy, so keep things private and treat others’ social lives the same way.

Political Views

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Sharing your political views can lead to heated debates, arguments, and even strained relationships with friends, family, or colleagues who hold differing beliefs. Publicly expressing political views could also alienate potential employers, clients, or colleagues who hold opposing views. Instead, keep your political opinions private.

Personal Belongings

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Our personal belongings hold sentimental value, making them irreplaceable. When you let other people borrow your belongings, you risk never getting it back. This could lead to an erosion of trust between you both, even though they didn’t do it intentionally. So, stay risk-free by keeping your personal belongings for yourself.

Financial Information

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Let’s end with the most important thing to never share with others: your financial information, such as your bank account details and PIN. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, any personal information relating to your finances should be kept private, helping to prevent unauthorized access and financial exploitation. There’s a reason only you are given this info!