As social media has integrated itself into our daily lives, we may become less aware to how our posting habits can increase the likelihood of being targeted by thieves and burglars. To prevent being targeted, here are some tips and strategies to use when using social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
1. Turn off all Location features within your social media apps. Apps are always changing and updating, in addition to their privacy policies always changing. With these policies changing, it is common to not understand or know how your personal data is being used, and/or who is seeing it. By turning off all location features, you will reduce the risk of the photos you post having your location embedded within it, also know as "geo-tagging".
2. Limit your connections. Be cautious with who you invite, or approve to see your posts and personal information. "Friend of Friend" invites can be fraud, so if you don't know them, consider denying their friend request or follow request.
3. Do not share information or details about your daily routine. Majority of burglaries happen with the hours of 9am-2pm. Posting information that allows others to know what times you are usually out of your home increase the chances of thieves targeting your home. Do not assist them by sharing this info.
4. Do not share personal information such as your birthday, phone number, home address, mother's maiden name, etc. Assume all information can assist cyber thieves in identity theft and post this info sparingly.
Last but not least...
5. Do not post about upcoming trips! By all means be excited, but share photos and all details AFTER you are back home! Sharing that you will be out of your home for a long duration of time is equivalent to leaving your door unlocked. Think twice before posting.