As the school year comes to a close and the weather continues to get warmer, we realize the time of year is coming when we are constantly on the go. Whether that be running to and from summer ball games or away on summer vacations, we find our homes left unattended greater amounts of time. Without meaning to, social media posts can let others know when we are out of the house for both short and long periods of time. Specifically, Facebook allows users to “check in” at nearly any location, thus spreading the word to their network about their whereabouts. Allstate, the National Crime Prevention Council and the National Cyber Security Alliance suggest boosting your privacy settings on social media to control who sees what.
- Control who can see your posts: Decide who you want to be looking at your page and your posts. The National Crime Prevention Council reminds us that a “public” setting usually means anyone can view the post. However, privacy settings allow you to only let “friends,” “followers” or even select groups to view your posts.
- Limit how you can be tagged: There is a specific setting on Facebook that allows you to control who can tag you in posts. You will be able to control who can tag you in posts and who can view posts you are tagged in.
- Determine your real friends: Facebook can be a fantastic tool for keeping in touch with loved ones, friends and distant acquaintances. However, “advertising your travel details or expensive purchases to 400 of your ‘nearest and dearest’ is neither smart nor safe,” Allstate said in a blog post. If you do not wish to keep your social network small, consider creating lists so that only certain groups can view posts.
- Use caution when posting: Remember once anything is posted online, it becomes permanent and out of your control. Make sure you use common sense before hitting “post.” There are probably certain posts that do not need to be shared online.
Increasing privacy on social media should become as essential to protecting your home as locking the doors is. Though neither can guarantee security, they seriously reduce any risks, especially when combined. In short, it is always best to err on the side of caution when making posts online. Though the posts may be posted with good intentions, they can have a detrimental effect on the security of you and your home.