In this age of technology, there are plenty of tools and resources available to help protect your home and family against threats of all kinds. But when it comes to keeping yourself safe, you may actually be opening the door to potential threats without knowing it.
Social media has been a wonderful tool to reconnect with old friends, classmates, and colleagues – but it also presents a security risk, and not in the way you might think. That’s why today we’re going to take a look at some strategies to deter potential threats that may be influenced by your use of social media.
How can social media be dangerous or risky?
One of the biggest dangers that social media presents to our safety and security is caused by sharing your regular activities, allowing would-be criminals to establish a pattern in your routine that they can take advantage of. For example, if you post a selfie on Instagram at the gym every day around 5pm, a burglar might know that late afternoon is the time to strike your house amid the hustle and bustle of the rush hour commute.
Additionally, that virtual photo tour you gave of your new apartment on Facebook? It may be a cute idea to share your new home with friends and family, but it might also be handing over the floor plan for your house, which opens you up to all sorts of potential threats.
How can I avoid increased crime risk from social media?
When it comes to managing your social media in a conscientious way, there are a few things you can do to avoid making life easier for someone to break into your home:
- Check your privacy settings. Make sure that your posts are set to display only to your own friends, in order to avoid having your personal information, activities, and whereabouts shown to anyone outside your network.
- Limit your use of geographical tags (and your friends’ ability to tag you). Even if you’re not posting it yourself, it doesn’t do you any good if a friend tags you in a photo on a Jamaican beach, thus giving away that you’re out of town.
- Connect carefully. Do you really know the person who sent that friend request? Do you have any mutual friends? It can be tempting to accept any friend request that comes your way, but you want to ensure that your network only contains people who belong there.
- Think before you post. Remember that new 65-inch TV you treated yourself to with your tax refund? You may want to reconsider before advertising your expensive new purchases on social media; it may attract unwanted attention.