TMI: Are You Tweeting Yourself At Risk? [Infographic]

Are you one of those people who are so fond telling the world what you’re doing?  Like announcing where you’re at or if you’re leaving the house or if you’re watching TV at home, alone?  Then you might be putting yourself and your possessions at risk.

Most burglars attack during day time since most people aren’t at home.  But when a person announces to the world that he’s going out, it’s like an invitation to invade their home.  Most people don’t know this but burglars are getting smart: 78% of burglars use social sites like Facebook and Twitter to target a household, and 74% utilize Google Street View to do surveillance in the area of interest.

Protect Yourself

Protect yourself from home invasions with a few simple steps like setting your social media profile to private, do not announce to the whole universe that you’ll be going out or leaving town and don’t post photos that could easily identify where you live.  Refrain from posting expensive things on your profile because you’re enticing robbers to target you, and don’t put spare key under the mat or anywhere that can be easily located.  You should also be sure to install security features, and make your house appear like someone is always in it (leave a light on when you leave the house–better yet, put one on a random timer during vacation).

Smart media = smarter predators

And it’s not only burglars that we have to worry about.  Sex offenders and other people with bad intentions are always lurking in cyberspace.  A new state law in Louisiana bans sex offenders from having access to many forms of devices that connect to the internet, as they can be used as a way to select their next target.  But the American Civil Liberties Union is against the law, as it violates Civil Rights.  U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson gave ACLU and the state of Louisiana until November 23 to file their documents and his ruling will be given after all the documents were submitted.

Last summer, House Bill 55 by Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, was passed by the Legislature prohibiting sex offenders, convicted of any offense where the victim was a minor, indecent behavior with a juvenile, pornography with juveniles, computer-aided solicitation of a minor or video voyeurism, from accessing social media.

People are contesting that these sex offenders have the right to use social media as it is a way to communicate with relatives and friends, as well as a way of communicating in times of crisis or natural disasters.  But technology and its agnostic accessibility is always cause for moral debate.

The point is: criminals are everywhere so it’s up to us to keep ourselves safe.  If you’re a parent, monitor your child’s internet activities but not to the point that you’re invading their privacy.  It’s better to be a nosy parent than a parent who has no clue with what’s happening to their kids.  Social media seems like a harmless and anonymous way of communicating with friends or the world at large, but you’re leaving a trail behind, whether you know it or not.