The danger of "oversharing" on Facebook …

Social media sites like Facebook strongly encourage users to share what they're doing, all the time. But this can be a serious risk to your security.

In the past, this sharing was as simple as writing a message: "Out to eat with my sister," or "Loving this beach weather!" But today, new apps and GPS-based technology invite you to share extremely specific details about where you are and what you're doing: your jogging route, the restaurant you're at, your vacation cottage in the mountains.

It may be fun to let others know about these special occasions in your life, but they all pose a huge risk: they could be letting the bad guys know that you're not at home!

Many of today's savvy burglars use Facebook and other social media sites to determine where to strike next. For them, it has become extremely easy to find out where people live and when they're not at home. If you're posting pics of your gourmet dinner on Instagram, then it's obvious your home is vacant.

Even if you're using the tightest possible privacy settings on Facebook (most people aren't), you never know who could be looking at your status updates.

To prevent the risk of burglary, you should never share that you’re not at home!

However, if you simply must share your experiences online, here are a few tips to do it more safely.

Social Media Safety Tips

  • Post it later.
    Wait until you're back home to post messages and pics of the places you've been, rather than while you're out.
  • Turn off GPS.
    Disable GPS settings in your mobile apps if you absolutely must post while you're not at home. But remember: the safest bet is to never let people know you're not at home.
  • Disable photo geo-tagging
    If you use your phone's camera often, turn off GEO-tagging in the settings. This feature enables virtually anyone to know exactly where a photo was taken based on GPS coordinates. For example, if your child is posting a picture on Twitter, a predator could easily view the photo's GPS data to find their location.
  • Control who sees your info
    Use Facebook's privacy settings to make sure that your posts are only visible to your closest friends and family. At the very least, make sure that someone must be your "friend" to view your profile and updates. Otherwise, your posts will be open to the world.

Social media sites like Facebook can be a great resource for keeping in touch and following what your friends are doing. Just be sure to use your best judgment and avoid sharing information about your location to prevent thieves from making your home a target.

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