Social Media and Home Protection: 3 Tips to Stay Safe While Sharing

Opinion: How often do we stop to think about how vulnerable we get by sharing so much?

Daily social media activities can expose us to another more displeasing world of stalkers, burglars and other nefarious people. To stay safe, we’ll need to be more vigilant about what we share and how we share it.

From ideas, thoughts, inspirational messages and photos, right to the short pieces that we caption “#NoteToSelf,” we like to share everything on social media. And it’s funny because the more we seem to be sharing on social media, the less we seem to do so in real life.

But how often do we stop to think about how vulnerable we get by sharing so much?

The policies governing social networks make the very nature of social media a vulnerability on the side of the user. Maintaining your privacy becomes a difficult thing to achieve with every sign-up and every “allow” button you click. What’s more is that we remain oblivious—dare I say unconcerned—about the dangers we face. Cyber-stalking is on the rise and predators are stepping up their game.

However, we can remain safe amid all that. We can be pragmatic about what we let slip through to online spaces to ensure that malicious people don’t have enough information to get to us.

We’ll share three tips that will help ensure that your social media life doesn’t compromise your other, more important, life: your home.

Avoid publishing personally identifiable information

Content shared on social media is one of the biggest avenues for cyber-criminals to get to you. If someone can see your posts and those in which you’re tagged, they can tell where you are any time you share.

Most social media channels have the geotagging feature. As such, you’ll find that it’s kind of a trend to include location data in status updates. While this offers some degree of personalization to your posts, it could also put your home in danger.

According to Jonathan F. Marshall, a criminal lawyer from Ocean County Criminal Lawyers, criminals could even exploit your profile, as well. He said:

Your posts aren’t the only source of personal information that can be exploited by cyber-criminals. Your profile is also a target. What kind of information do you have? Using the information displayed such as your company, your friends, family members, etc., criminals can join the dots to get to you.

That said, keep to sharing only the most relevant information, such as skills and your current workplace. Remember that criminals piece together snippets of information about you before they are certain. Career information—which you need to have on your social media profiles—in itself would be hard to give you away. But when coupled with other pieces of needless information, it can be damaging.

Turn off geolocation on all of your posts and, if you have to, post vacation photos only after you return from the vacation. Posting during the vacation gives criminals a window of opportunity to your home.

Regularly review privacy settings on your accounts to make sure that only people who need to see and/or react to your posts do so. If in doubt, don’t post it at all.

Social engineering is also one of the most common methods used to reach users. Other than passively lurking in your social profiles, criminals actively interact with you to get you to reveal details about yourself. Don’t respond to any other email that says you have issues in your account.

Use a virtual private network

The popular belief is that VPNs are only for those who want unrestricted access to the internet. But they can be much more.

Using a VPN is one of the most effective ways to ensure your online security.