Social Network Stranger Danger: Tips To Protect Yourself and Your Family

Is your social network disclosing too much about you and putting you in danger? Are you telling people where you are and what you are doing? Last night was a reminder that everyone is watching and listening so be choosy with what you say and more so post. STRANGER DANGER. Here’s my story….

I love being a social network butterfly. I love hearing about what my “friends” are doing and the latest haps in their lives. Seeing pictures of them and their kids as they grow which is nice because I can’t be there to actually see them grow. I feel connected. The daily posts are constant reminders that we are loved and not alone which has been putting upwards of five billion smiles on faces across the globe. I put friends in quotation marks because not all of them are people that I am close to. Some of them, I must admit, I don’t even remember but know that I went to high school with because of our friends in common.

Last night, I was out with a friend for some delicious food and wine. We got the last two seats in the house at the bar and enjoyed hours of conversation and laughs. Toward the end of the night, a couple of single old dudes struck up some lame conversation in an attempt to add to their less than exciting lives.  We entertained them for about 2 minutes before heading out the door because there was one comment in particular that stopped me dead in my tracks. The man said, “I knew it was your first time here because you asked where the restroom was”.

What?! This may sound harmless and obvious but this is why it is not as harmless as it may seem.

A) He was five seats away from us in a rather loud dining scene. Either I was screaming it or he had been watching and listening for far more time than I care to think about. B) The bartender wanted to give us a glass of wine on the house and asked if we were driving. Of course I did not hesitate to answer him AND continue to say that I was taking public transportation home. Are you kidding me? Am I a complete moron? What was I thinking?! Idiot.

So, at this point, without realizing who was watching and listening, I had disclosed that I am new to the restaurant and possibly unfamiliar with the neighborhood just by asking where the restroom was. I had also disclosed that I was walking to take the public transportation home.

I felt comfortable in the restaurant, I was with a friend, with a responsible bartender who wanted to increase his tip by giving us a glass of wine on the house. Seems about right. STRANGER DANGER.

The same goes for your social network of choice. It seems comfortable because those who surround you are your “friends”, it seems responsible because you have set up your security settings so that only your “friends” can see your posts and photos.

Well wake up Jack. Everyone in your network is a potential threat. Similar to the scene last night, everyone is a potential threat, watching and listening to what you you say and do. Use your head and be aware of everything that you post. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Never post where you are going. You never know who could be waiting for you to leave your house and rob you or wait for you at your destination and snatch you.
  • Protect your photos by setting your security to only those you know well and trust. Not just your “friends”.
  • Tell your kids. When you are in their network, you can’t see what strangers see. Find a trusted friend who is not in their network and use their log in to see what any stranger would have access to. Then have them log in and set up their security settings yourself.

Comments

  1. Thanks a lot! Useful tips!

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