Facebook Robbery Is Real, And You're At Risk
Over sharing on Facebook is more than just an annoyance. You may not realize it, but you could actually be risking the safety of your home by providing the wrong people with private information. Facebook robbery, as the media has dubbed it, involves using the information shared on Facebook to find out when a house will be empty. The robber breaks in when the family is not home, loots the property, and leaves before the family is back.
It happens more often than you think. In fact, CNN's Randi Kaye reported about a family whose home was burglarized by a childhood friend of one of the residents:
Keri McMullen, the homeowner, is definitely not alone. Millions of people over share on Facebook every day, making them extremely vulnerable to robbery. Here are three other reasons why you could be a target for Facebook robbery, and how you can prevent the robbery from occurring.
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1. You Add People You Barely Know
Remember that guy at the gym? The one you talked to a few times and thought it would be cool to connect with on Facebook? Yeah, neither do we. Yet, he still sees all of your Facebook posts, where you check-in, who you're out with, and photos that give a peek into your daily life. We add people on Facebook without ever thinking about the information we are giving them access to. This can be endanger your personal safety and the security of your home and possessions. To protect yourself from being a target for Facebook robbery, only add people that you know and trust. These should be close friends and family that you see on a regular basis. Go through your current Facebook friends list and delete anyone you're not close to. Though it will cut down on your Facebook popularity, it will definitely eliminate the risk of being a potential target.
2. You Don't Monitor Your Privacy Settings
Most Facebook users don't realize that they have the ability to limit what other people can see. Facebook lets you control almost everything on your profile. You should take full advantage of this by severely limiting who sees your Facebook posts. The less people that know you're spending the summer in Paris, the better.
Controlling your privacy settings is really easy.
You simply click the lock sign right next to the down arrow you usually use to log out.
For a full list of privacy options, you simply click 'See More Settings' on the drop down, which takes you to all the privacy setting options.
You can change the privacy for a specific post by clicking the audience button next to the 'Post' button.
Edit your audience by clicking the button next to "Post"[/caption]
3. You Don't Censor Travel Companions
There's one factor you haven't taken into consideration yet: your real friends. These people really do love you and care for you, but they don't always think things through. They tag you in Facebook posts in London, Paris, Beijing, Seoul, Djibouti, and everywhere in between and never stop to think about their security or yours.
Even if your lips are sealed, your friend's may not be. Talk to your friends before heading on your trip. Let them know how posting on Facebook affects security and makes them a Facebook robbery target. As an extra precaution, change your privacy settings on Facebook so all posts on your timeline have to be approved by you. That way, even if your friend does post something that reveals you are traveling, you can block it from your timeline.
Facebook robbery is preventable. All you need is a little bit of social media savvy. By not over sharing, monitoring your Facebook friends, checking your privacy settings, and making sure your travel companions keep their virtual mouths shut, you can keep your home safe from burglary while you are away.