Sharing your location on Social Media opens doors for criminals

Blue Security

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Sharing your location on Social Media opens doors for criminals
Sharing your location on Social Media opens doors for criminals

The weekend has come and gone. You probably had a casual coffee with a friend or a night out on the town and maybe ended it off with a family lunch at your favourite restaurant. During these social events, you decided to snap a photo or two of the fun moments and posted it on Facebook to show everyone what a good time you were having. You also, more than likely, tagged the location of the event you are attending. If you personally don’t do this, one of your friends surely does.

Are humans simply sharing memories with friends and family online or alerting online criminals that while you are out, you are definitely not at home? Thus, giving potential culprits an open invitation to raid your online and offline safety all through the simple act of viewing your location.

Read these 4 reasons why sharing your location on social media can be dangerous for you and those around you.

1. It seems obvious but sharing your location tells people where you are:

When sharing photos and updating status’s online and you tag your current location, you are potentially telling millions (depending on your privacy settings) of people where you are . This opens doors for stalkers to know the best places and times to find you, even who you are going with. If you have set your social settings to “friends” there is no guarantee that this information cannot be accessed by others. Here are a few examples:

  • You log onto a public access computer and leave your Facebook page open. This gives the next potential user an open opportunity to access not only your profile but also all of your friends information through your profile.
  • For those that don’t have a pass code for their devices, you might want to re-think this one. Phones get stolen all the time, lets say in this instance, it’s yours. The thief can simply log into all your social profiles to do what they please or take whatever information they feel beneficial to them, such as all the places you have recently visited, the locations of your family, friends and children if your children are using social sites. Use a pass code, it is better to be safe than sorry.

2. You may be revealing detrimental information about your valuables:

Did you know that every time you take a photo on your Smartphone your phone has been recording metadata, data that points out information specifically linked to the picture? Metadata is generally unnoticed by the average social media user but, for those with more knowledge on committing internet crime, the information given in the metadata is very helpful to the criminal and dangerous for those who posted the photo.

Let’s say you sell expensive antiques at a local craft market and decide to post about it on Facebook to promote your start-up. Yes, you are exposing your business to those who are interested in buying your products on offer but, you are also giving that information to strangers that would prefer to steal your goods rather than buy them.

3. Just how sharing your location tells people where you are, it also tells people where you aren’t:

You and the family decide to take a relaxing weekend away in the midlands. You decide to post about the fun golf day with the boys or the relaxing spa day with your mom. Do you know what you’re telling people? You are not at home. Making live status updates and picture geo-tagging, the act of clicking on the “add location” button and typing in an address or place where you have been or are currently at. This tells your friends that you’re having a splendid time away from home and criminals that your house is unoccupied. All they would have to do is hire out a van, drive it to your house and load up anything they want.

This is not to say that you mustn’t post pictures of your holidays at all but, maybe a few days after the trip.

4. You might be putting your friend’s and family’s lives in danger:

When you geo-tag a picture,  then tag a friend or family member, you are indirectly effecting their safety due to the same reasons mentioned above.

We need to start being more aware of what we are posting on social media as well as the ripple effects it can cause in our lives and safety.

For any questions about this video or other aspects of social media and internet crime, email [email protected]

South Africa Today – South Africa News

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