You love the sense of connection social media gives you; you can show your friends the bridesmaid dresses you’re trying on in real time, blast cute videos of your nephew and share just about any thought that crosses your mind. But not everybody looking at your social media platforms is doing so with a friendly eye. Some people are seeking information they can use to take advantage of you.
That’s why it’s important that you’re very careful about revealing your real-time location on social media, especially in the following instances.
1.Buying a New Car
Getting a new car is exciting! And you want to take a photo of yourself shaking the dealer’s hand, signing the contract and getting the keys. But these photos tell people that you have just purchased a brand new car, a huge nab for burglars who may be connected to you in some form on social media.
If you purchase an expensive car, then you’re also telling the world that you have a certain income and probably a certain number of valuables inside of your home. Keep that exciting moment of buying a new car private, or at least only between immediate friends and family.
This one is fairly obvious, but there are ways we give our travel plans away without realizing it. Simply sending out a funny tweet about having to take off your shoes, and show off your Cookie Monster socks at the TSA line tells people that you’re on your way somewhere. Always ask yourself what additional information you’re accidentally giving out when you release one small piece of data.
3. The Ring Store
If you’re purchasing marriage bands with your fiance, send that information in a private email to friends and family members. Checking into a jewelry store, or taking a photo with your significant other purchasing the ring tells onlookers that you just bought an expensive piece of jewelry.
4. Nightclubs or Bars
If you’re at a bar or nightclub, then you may be consuming alcohol, which means you’re not as alert as you normally would be. It also means there is a good chance you’ll come home later than you normally would. Streaming a live video of you and your friends dancing at a club tells burglars who are scoping out your page that you’re away from home, will be for a while and probably won’t even notice a few stolen items when you get home because you’re tipsy.
5. The Hospital
While you may want sympathy from your social media community after a major surgery or emergency room visit, seek it from only your close friends and family. Posting photos of yourself at the hospital tells people you’re not at home and may not be for several days. It also makes you a prime target for collection agency scams. Con artists who know you may be paying a medical bill off over time may call you, pretending to be someone from the hospital or financing institution demanding money.
6. Home Alone
No selfies, no bragging about having the house to yourself tonight with a bottle of wine and a good book. Women in particular should avoid this, but anyone puts their safety and valuables at risk by doing so. The fewer people who are in your house, the fewer people who can hear someone break in. Con artists pretending to be delivery people or electricians may also target you if they know you’re alone, because you don’t have your spouse or roommate around to confirm or deny someone hired them.
While sharing your life story on social media can be a lot of fun, it can also make you vulnerable to burglary, identity theft and other crimes. Put a lot of thought into each post before hitting the share button! And, as a final measure of security, go through your privacy settings and update. Delete any “friends” you may not actually know and make sure only your friends can see what you post, not friends of friends or the entire public.