Can I post my email address on Facebook and LinkedIn?
No. But why?
Posting your email address on Facebook and LinkedIn, or any other public platform increases the chance of spamming and phishing attacks. If you need to connect with others, open a direct message channel instead to inquire about your email address. Share email address only with people you trust to stay safe on the web.
If you post your email address on Facebook or LinkedIn, who can see it? What are the potential risks of sharing your email address on public platforms? Let’s find out.
Who Can See Your Posts on Facebook?
The social media platform Facebook allows you to determine the audience for your posts individually. When you create a post on Facebook, check the box titles “shared to.” From that option, you can choose the audience for your posts. The offered audience option is Public, Friends, and Only Me. One other thing that you need to keep in mind is, some things you share on Facebook will always be public. For example, posts or comments on a public group will be public, and anyone can see them.
You can also control and customize the visibility of the email address connected to your Facebook account. For example, you can choose to show your email address on your profile, but set its privacy to Friends, so your email address is shared on your profile and other places on Facebook with your friends.
To adjust who you share your email address with on your profile:
- Click on your profile picture on the top right corner of your Facebook homepage
- Click on the About option at the top
- Click Contact and basic info in the left menu
- Click Edit located next to the email address and click the audience selector next to your email address to change the audience it’s shared with and save any changes
Who Can See Your Posts on LinkedIn?
When you create a post on LinkedIn, you can choose your audience for that specific post. Remember, you can’t change the visibility option after you’ve shared your post.
The visibility options on LinkedIn are –
- Anyone –anyone on LinkedIn or anyone from outside can see your post, including your extended network
- Anyone + Twitter – Anyone on LinkedIn and Twitter can view your post
- Connections only – Only 1st-degree connections of the post author can view your post
- Group members – Only members of the group where the post was shared can see your post
- Event attendees – Any attendee of the event can view your post
Why Shouldn’t You Post Your Email Address on Facebook and LinkedIn?
Spammers gain access to email addresses on public platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Spammers get your private email address in two main ways –
Spammers use the email harvesting technique to gain access to public email addresses quickly. In this method, a cybercriminal can create a program to scour and find any email addresses by using the “@” symbol as the keyphrase. They can gather thousands of email addresses in seconds using email harvesting. These bots can find and collect any email exposed on the Internet, whether it be a public CV, a Facebook or LinkedIn post, or a comment on a forum.
Scammers target all kinds of companies. However, companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter that hold the personal information of hundreds of millions of users are the most targeted companies of data breaches. Most of the most significant data breaches in history were targeted towards user information only. Even if you make your posts private on Facebook or LinkedIn, spammers can still access your data.
To protect your personal email address from spammers, avoid posting an email address on public platforms. If you must network through email, use a throwaway account. You can filter out legitimate emails and direct them to your original email address. You can also utilize the direct messaging option on these platforms to connect with others. If you feel safe, you can then share your email address with them and mitigate the chances of getting spammed.
How to Find Out If Your Email Address is Exposed on the Internet
If you have posted your email address on Facebook or LinkedIn, the first thing that you should do is to remove the post. Next, you need to check whether it’s visible anywhere else. Because even if you remove it from your Facebook or LinkedIn, spammers can still store it in other places and make it available for others. One way to check your email visibility is to search for it using search engines. However, you will have to check on each search engine individually. Instead, a much more efficient way is to use a tool that will search numerous different search engines and social media platforms simultaneously.
To check your email address visibility, go to Sniff Email — an online platform dedicated to finding out if your email address exists on the Internet. Enter your email address in the search field and click fetch to find out if your email address exists on the web within a few seconds. Based on the results, you can take appropriate action to remove it.