OK, here it goes... I still recall how I stupidly stayed off of the Internet in the early days because of all of the silly stories I kept reading in computer magazines and the papers about how dangerous it was. I stayed away until about 1994 and finally (and cautiously) made the leap. I soon became very angry at myself for being so silly...
I had deprived myself of vast amounts of knowledge for several years based on the tales of others instead of looking for myself. I'm really surprised that I believed those tales because I had long stayed on the leading edge of other technology such as it was in the 1960's and forward.
For many years I constantly preached to my kids:"If you want to operate a door (or any number of other things that popped to mind) you have to be smarter than a door..."
People get stung on-line, and especially on social media, because they have not made themselves "smarter than a door". The gullibility of the masses should never be under estimated.
If you like you can use a fake name, birthdate, phone number and even set up a burnable email account. Lots of potential problems eliminated. I do not do that but you can. I do not ever give my personal cell number, period. I have long had the same number but there are less than a dozen people on the planet that have it. They keep asking for it but they will never get it. Diana's cell is the house and business phone and if a valid number is needed that is the one I give out. We have operated businesses for 45 years and she is the phone voice of our enterprises and is quite good at dealing with crap calls.
Over those 45 years we spent thousands and thousands of dollars telling people where we were and who we are, it seems pointless to try to hide now.
On the other hand, it is also silly to paint a target on your back... One way to be a target is to post a bunch political crap (no matter what side) because that will make you a target of both side and all sorts of fringe extremes.
If you announce that "We will all be out of state 4 days as of next Monday"... You deserve to come home to an emptied out house, but people do it all of the time on Facebook.
"Loose lips sink ships"
A few other things many don't understand...
The name is "click-bait" and absolutely tons of it is on social media. In most cases every time the creators can get you to click on their stuff they make a tiny amount of money, usually from sponsors. Much of the time it is harmless but read stuff first and think about it. Their more common tools are religion, politics, phony patriotism and pathetic pictures of animals or kids etc. They don't give a rats behind about the subject matter, just if you will click on it so they can make $$$$.
Another thing to think about is those posts where they claim to be trying to locate someone like a runaway child etc. It has been proven that in many of those cases it is someone's ex (or worse) trying to locate a child that has been moved into hiding for their protection or even someone looking for somebody in a witness protection program. Don't become their tool. Some of those that are just fairly harmless click-bait use pictures of just anybody's kids that they can find on-line. Many things are not what they seem to be. Look at dates etc. That lost kid post from 2008 probable is not going to be findable.
Be "smarter than a door"...