Privacy is a challenge in a connected world. It’s hard to avoid getting your home robbed or worse! Read this blog and learn what the bad guys want to know.
People who are serious on their social media (and less than concerned — or naïve — about their privacy) are good for always letting us know how life is treating them. Posting mood updates, random thoughts of the moment, photos of meal plates and ‘checking-in’ are all part of the routine, whether at home or away.
All this updating is done with the assumption that the reader has our best interest in mind. Sometimes, the exact opposite is the case. It’s tough to swallow that we may have made some bad choices when accepting Friend requests. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to ‘know’ all of your social media followers and their intentions. And it’s IMPOSSIBLE to know the intentions of the people your Friends know.
Everything is ‘viral’
One of your well-chosen Friends ‘Likes’ something on your timeline. The ‘thumbs-up’ they gave your post will likely show up in THAT PERSON’S activity feed. Your activity is now viewed by tons of people your Friend knows but YOU don’t know. So, you just told a few hundred people your home is empty because you are across town or out-of-town! Get ready to have your home robbed!
Mr. Facebook pays good money to lots of smart people to pierce our ‘veil’ of privacy. So, as long as we use Facebook it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to have a ‘private’ life. This is because we have NO control over how careful our Friends are with THEIR Facebook ‘Privacy settings.’
It is only getting worse
Search on the Internet and it is easy to find daily sad-but-true stories about ‘Facebook burglars.’ These people troll their News Feed looking for signs that someone is away from home for an extended time. So all your sharing is like putting out the welcome mat for getting your home robbed by thieves making good use of that door you opened.
Check out the link to a Google search of ‘Facebook friend robs home’ [HERE]. Read all the stories about some of the saddest, more recent cases. It should inspire you to alter your social media behavior – and encourage folks you care about to do the same.
How to protect yourself online
If putting your business on social media is a big part of your life you can’t do without, here’s how we can ramp-up your privacy and security:
First, check your Settings and get a handle on which of your past, present and future updates are visible to people you don’t know. It’s important that your Settings are reviewed FREQUENTLY. Facebook can change the Settings without your knowledge or approval. Facebook often changes the way Settings work so it’s important to keep up on today’s news about Facebook so you will know when these changes happen. If you use Facebook games and other apps you may have given the apps permission to change your Settings, so take care what you allow when you install these accessories or, avoid installing them altogether.
Here is a cool slide show by the U.S. Navy (talk about being secure!) that walks sailors and their families through the process:
These articles take you through some things to keep your Facebook profile ‘healthy.’ Read about issues to look for if you have minors who use Facebook:
Step away from the phone — and live your life
Also important: When leaving home, resist the temptation to be Checking-in, or posting pics of yourself in faraway places with updates like “still on the road…”. This is exactly what evil people want to know. The best way to share these life moments on your Profile is AFTER you return home.
It is easy to get on Facebook from your desktop and pick where you want to ‘check-in’ after you have gone from that cool place you visited. And you still have the option to show where and when you took the photo. This means you must fight the urge to use your phone to post pictures as your life happens! Wait a while and download the pics from your phone to a computer. If you no longer do the ‘computer’ thing, wait until you are back home to Post up from your mobile device.
Posting up later and saying “…wish you had been there…” or “…had a blast…” still has the same feeling (and still makes you look like a rock star). Posting up later is w-a-a-a-y more secure than saying “…wish you were here…” or “…having a blast…”. And, posting up later reduces the chances of having your home robbed.
How to get 365 hours of your life back
Believe it or not, many of us have been on Facebook for TEN YEARS! If you are like me, you may have enlarged your social media profile to include other platforms. But, your online identity is probably deeply rooted in Facebook. Most people spend at least one hour every day on Facebook. You probably take the bait and use your Facebook profile as your login on other websites.
But, after ten years, you might find Facebook fatigue setting in. Here’s a guide to getting Mr. Facebook out of your life, once and for all (or, maybe just temporarily):
Maybe the work you put in generating content for Mr. Facebook is part of a larger problem: An addiction to being online. Find out the warning signs that you have a feening for being connected, and what to do about fixing it:
Watching your back
Some police departments take the privacy warnings even further. Cops are asking parents to resist the cute stick figure window decals! Especially when the decals go with bumper stickers about where the vehicle’s occupants work or go to school.
If you are the type to chill at the local Starbucks with a cup o’ joe and your tablet or laptop, you might be giving creeps an open door to your life:
Remember: NEVER access your banking apps, and files with personal info while using public wi-fi!
Here’s a free chapter from a book that has several online security tips:
There are easy steps you can take to help make it harder for the bad guys to take advantage of you when you are online:
Google Makes It Easier To Control Your Personal Data And Privacy
If the worst happens, and you are the victim of a break-in, there are some things to keep in mind:
Photo credit: “The Burglar” by Eastlake Times / Flickr Creative Commons
Also published on Medium.