This is a guest post from JT Ripton.
Social media is a great way to stay in contact with friends and family around the world — but you may not be only sharing with your friends. If you’re not careful about what you post, you could find yourself in trouble. One of the biggest concerns with posting on social media is that you could easily make yourself a target for thieves.
Sharing Too Much Personal Info
Image via Flickr by Jim Whimpey
When you set up your Facebook account, you’re asked for a lot of personal information. This information can be used to identify you. You don’t need to add this information, or you can set your profile to private. Consider how much information you’re giving away. Facebook asks for your name, your birthdate, where you grew up, where you currently live, and even your phone number. All of this can be used to identify you as a target. Be selective about the information that you share with the world. And make sure that what you sure never gives strangers a clue to to your passwords.
Sharing Your Vacation Dates
It’s important that you let friends and family know when you’re not going to be home. This can help keep them from worrying about you. It also ensures that someone knows to check on your home. However, if you share that you are going to be gone on Facebook, keep in mind who can see your status updates.
You don’t want to be telling everyone that you’re not going to be home. This just tells potential thieves that they have somewhere they can hit without a problem. If you’re headed out on vacation, make sure that you have a good home security system from securitychoice.net. This will help keep your home safe no matter how long you’re gone.
Sharing the Layout of Your Home
Image via Flickr by Juhan Sonin
Another thing you want to keep to yourself is your home’s layout. If you’re constantly showing pictures of your house, you may get praise its beauty. However, you’re also going to be alerting potential thieves about the best places to get into and out of your home. Instead of sharing pictures publicly, if you really want to show off your home, make sure that the pictures are set to friends only. This will cut down on the potential of risk to your family and your home.
In addition to not sharing pictures, it’s a good idea to keep some home improvement projects to yourself. While many improvement projects don’t affect how a potential thief can get into your home, others make it easy to devise a route in and out. Talking about how you’re changing the sliding door in the back of the house to French doors simply tells thieves the best way to get into the home.
Sharing With People You Don’t Know
One of the most common mistakes that many people make on Facebook is accepting friend requests from people they don’t know. While it feels good to have a lot of friends on the social network, it’s also dangerous if you have people in your network that are questionable or that you haven’t met. This is because you don’t know the true motives of these people. While it’s true that most people on social networks want to connect with friends and family, there are those out there who are in it to find the best targets.
Sharing Where You Are Right Now
Do you love to check into different places on your social media accounts? You’re trying out a great new restaurant and you want everyone to know, right? It’s a good idea to wait until you get home to talk about it. If you’re checking in everywhere you go, those who would do you harm know exactly when you’re not home and where you are. This way they’re able to get an idea of how long you’ll be gone. On top of that, they can pick out patterns of when you’re not home during the day.
It’s important that you be careful about what you share online. Anything shared can be used against you far too easily.