For all the good social media brings to our lives, there is also the potential for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other digital social platforms to have disastrous consequences. What matters is the manner in which you use social media. If you are not careful, you will create opportunities for miscreants to steal your possessions and threaten your family’s well-being.
Do Not Share Vacation Plans or Updates on Social Media
Social media is not the proper place to post information about vacations. Do not post vacation plans, itineraries, photos, updates or any other information related to upcoming trips. If you absolutely must share a few photographs or information about the vacation, wait until you have returned home and are safe and sound. Otherwise, posting photos, updates or information about vacation plans will tip off evildoers that you and your loved ones will be away from home for an extended period of time.
Limit Personal Information Shared Online
If you use your full name on social media, consider abbreviating it to help conceal your identity from thieves and other wrongdoers. Furthermore, you might not want to add your date of birth, town, employer, employment title and other details about your life to your social media pages. The less information people have about you, the better. After all, a shady character could easily find your Facebook profile, see where you work and plan a robbery while you are away from home during your work shift.
Beware of Social Media Users
Anyone can pretend to be just about anyone else on social media. People have and will continue to impersonate friends, family, former co-workers and others online for various reasons. So do not be so quick to accept friend requests from people you do not know. If you let anyone view your social media, you will provide access to some very personal information that can help them target your home while you are going about your daily routine of work, school, bringing the kids to soccer practice, etc.
Recognize Some Things Don’t Need to be Shared
It is certainly understandable if you are excited about an upcoming trip, concert, sports event or another outing. However, there is no need to broadcast your intention to go to such an event or broadcast your experience while at the event. Though it is hard to believe, the sad truth is thieves actively prowl social media to find easy targets who are posting updates while on vacation, at social events, or other outings. Wait until such events are over to recap the fun with pictures, status updates and so on.
Be Hyper-aware of Location Sharing
Some social media platforms and other services are set up for user locations to be shared upon log-in. There is no need to share your location with any company, stranger, social media friend, or any other party. Even if your settings are established to limit location information to friends only, a stranger could still access the information, find out where you are, and rob your home. The bottom line is location services have the potential to tip off thieves and criminals to your location and render your loved ones and possession open to attack.