What to do when you have accidentally shared something online

Accidentally sharing something online is very common. Whether it is an email forwarded to the wrong person, a message sent to the wrong WhatsApp group or a private message posted to a public profile by mistake. However, depending on the content shared this can have a huge impact on the individual.

Approaches to dealing with accidental information share

  1. Remove the content - As quick as you can remove the content. The quicker you remove it the less people will have seen it, and in some cases your option to remove it can time out if you aren’t quick enough. Use the platforms Help Centre to understand how to delete your content. Popular links: Facebook Help Centre, Twitter Help Centre, LinkedIn Help, WhatsApp Help, Snapchat Support and Instagram Help Centre.

  2. The information is now public - As hard as it is to deal with the information you shared is now public. Get the help and support you need to come to terms with this information being in the public domain.

  3. Try not to monitor the content online and resulting comments - While the information is online try not to monitor the comments and feedback. This will cause more distress.

How best to avoid this in future?

  • Double check - Always double check before you post or send anything. Check where you are posting it and who you are sending it to to ensure it is what you had planned.

  • Think hard before you share anything - The second you post something online it is in the public domain. Even though you may be able to delete the message or post it is likely that it has been seen by many and you may never be able to truly remove it from the internet.

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