Social media is an easy and convenient way to keep in touch with friends and family from anywhere in the world.
The problem is that when you share anything on social media, it can be seen by people other than friends and family and you don’t know exactly who is watching. If you’re not careful and you give away too much information, you could be in trouble.
During this post we want to take a look at how the things that you post on social media could make you a target for thieves and other criminals.
Social media is an easy way to share what is on your mind but some people seem to have a need to share everything that is happening in their lives.
When you register an account with most social media websites you are asked a lot of personal information which is all information that can be used to identify you. You don’t need to add this information, or you can set your profile to private and limit the audience that can view it.
Think hard before filling in any information and where possible, use fake information.
Facebook is a social network that asks for far too much information in my opinion. They want your name, date of birth, where you live, where you were born, your phone number, etc. If you fill these in, you can hide most of them from your public profile through the settings but by default they can be seen by anyone. Make them public and it can easily make you a target.
I understand that you are excited about going on vacation and you want everyone else to know about it, but you are also letting people know when your house is going to be unoccupied.
You SHOULD let friends and family know that you are going away so that they don’t worry but don’t do it on social media. If you do then be very vague about the details. You can share more about the trip when you get back.
You have to be very careful about posting photos that have been taken in the home as believe it or not, criminals can and will use them to work out the layout of the property. This will show any thieves that might be watching the best places to enter and exit the home.
This is especially important when you are doing any home improvements around the house. If you are letting people know that you are having sliding doors installed, a quick online search will show a thief the best way to get past those doors.
We recommend that you change the privacy of any uploaded photos to “friends only“.
You Accept Everybody
A big problem, especially with younger people is that their social media accounts are a numbers game. They accept every friend request that they receive whether they know the person or not. I have a friend that I used to go to school with years ago and she does this very thing. She has over 3,000 “friends” yet probably doesn’t even know a hundred of them.
It can be a very dangerous move for anyone to accept a friend request from someone they don’t know. Thieves can target people by searching by location which makes it easier for them to choose a target.
Great, you are at a new restaurant or out at the store, but not everyone needs to know about it. If you want to share that information then do it once you have been and got back home. Don’t do it while you’re there and let people know you are not home. Thieves will also know roughly how long they have until you get back giving them the opportunity to strike. They will also very quickly learn what your daily routine is.
Remember, anything you share online can not be taken back once it’s out there. Be very careful about what you share with others as you never quite know who is watching.