Double-edged Sword: 5 Warnings for Using Social Media

17 Dec

Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family as you all update each other with pictures and status updates about your everyday life. Even with all the great benefits of using social media, it’s important to remember that it can also put you at an increased risk for certain problems or dangers. Here are five ways using social media can potentially put you and your family in danger.

Double-edged Sword--5 Warnings for Using Social Media pic

1. It Can Lead to Home Break-ins

When you announce on Facebook your upcoming visit to Harrisburg, PA to see family, you not only let your friends and connections know about your trip, but also con artists and burglars who may be in your area. Armed with the knowledge that you will be out of town, they know they can easily break into your house and take whatever they want with no risk of disturbance.

2. It Can Facilitate Kidnapping

If you share your children’s names and pictures on social media sites, kidnappers can use this information to gain the trust of your kids in order to lure them away. If someone knows your child’s name and basic personal information, your child is more likely to think the person can be trusted. For this reason, it isn’t wise to post much about your children online.

3. It Can Encourage Thefts

When you brag  online about the expensive Christmas electronics and jewelry you received, or even just post pictures that have these things visible in the background, you are basically giving burglars the chance to window shop your possessions. Burglars are more likely to target homes where there is something worth taking, and when you post pictures and make comments about your valuable items, you are letting them know that your home will be a profitable target.

4. It Can Allow Others to Find Your Physical Location

If you post pictures from your smart phone to your social media sites, it might automatically tag the picture with your location information. Stalkers and kidnappers can easily use this information to find where you or your child lives, plays, and goes to school.  Thieves can also use this info to pinpoint your daily routine to determine when you won’t be at home.

5. It Can Be Used to Gather Even More Personal Information

Even if you are careful to limit the information you share online, people can use that information to find out additional facts about you. For example, with just your name and your city, people can search for your address and phone number. They can also figure out additional information about you by viewing your friends and your liked pages.

While these social media dangers are serious, they should not cause you to avoid using social media altogether. Simply take security measures such as changing your account security options, installing a Vivint home security system, and limiting the amount of information you share online, and you can use social media while greatly limiting your risk.

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