Now that mid summer has arrived, most people are looking forward to a vacation. Of course it's important to let everyone know you will be away from work for a few days, but when is broadcasting your upcoming vacation on Facebook, Myspace or Twitter a danger?
Let's say you plan to travel out of state for the week, and you post to your Facebook profile about it. It just so happens a thief may be watching by searching public profiles for the word "vacation" or "leaving", and they run across your post. Now they know when you will be gone, and it's not very hard to lookup your full name and city from your profile. From there a simple google search provides directions to your home. Guess what happens next?
What can you do to protect yourself?
Take steps not to post information which could harm you or your property.
Ensure your privacy / security settings are appropriate for your accounts.
- Set your Facebook "Privacy Settings" so you aren't broadcasting information to everyone in your "Network." Remember, "network" could mean everyone in a specific geographic region for example. Maybe only your friends, and maybe their friends, should be able to view your profile.
There are multiple options to securing a Facebook profile:
- Secure your basic profile to make sure only people you want to see your information can see your information.
- Secure your search settings to determine who can search for you, and what they can see about you.
- Secure your posts to make sure you aren't sending everything you post to everyone, unless of course you want to.
- Secure any add-ins and remove applications which are no longer being used on your account.
Sure are a lot of options available to secure an account, but it's important to pay attention to each of them.
I hope this encourages a few people to take another look at their profile settings, and start thinking about what kind of personal information should or shouldn't be posted.
If anyone has any great ideas or recommendations, please drop them off so everyone can benefit.