Posting a selfie can cost thousands

How Posting A Selfie Could Cost You Thousands

5 minutes read

We are all aware of the effects that social media can have on our daily lives, but did you know that posting a selfie could cost you thousands if done at the wrong time?

Police have urged Americans to pause before they post to social media to protect themselves from cybercriminals, scammers, and other criminals.

The warning comes as social media users are posting too much personal and professional information, and some have become easy targets for criminals. It’s now extremely common that criminals are browsing social media channels to exploit the vulnerabilities of their targets while they are on vacation, or away from their homes.

Don’t become a statistic! Pause before you post, or you could return from a trip to find that criminals have taken advantage of your home being empty.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of some easy steps you can take today to protect yourself online and keep yourself and your property safe from unwanted intruders, break-ins, theft, and damage.

What you can do to protect yourself

  1. Double-check the check-ins

Tagging a business or location has become second nature to us when posting on Instagram and Facebook. However, to a would-be intruder visiting your favorite local restaurant’s public page, it can be an easy way of determining that you are not at home. Check your location settings on both your device and social apps to make sure your private information isn’t being shared publicly.

  1. Delay your post until after you’re home

Whether it was the trip of a lifetime or just a night out, it’s always safer to post after you’re home. By doing it retrospectively, a would-be intruder has no way of knowing exactly when you’re out and about, making your home a much less appealing target.

  1. Be careful broadcasting your big events

Sharing fun personal news is what social media was made for, but announcing that you are about to hop on a plane or watching your team crush their rivals, could be sending the wrong message.

Criminals are on the lookout on social media platforms for keywords around travel, vacations, and upcoming events. They’ve even been known to eye RSVPs on Facebook events. Depending on your privacy settings, these types of posts or your RSVPs can appear in their searches – indicating to potential intruders that your house will be unoccupied, and therefore an easy target.

  1. Avoid flashing the cash

If you’ve ever upgraded to a new car after driving a rusted one for years, you know the temptation to show off your new ride on your profile. It’s only natural – you’re proud of your success, as you should be. Unfortunately, this also can inadvertently make you a target for would-be criminals.

Big-ticket items like a new car, expensive jewelry, or the latest home gaming system make your home a tempting target. A good rule to follow is: if you wouldn’t leave it unattended in public, you shouldn’t post it on the internet.

And don’t forget that the car dealership’s profile is public, so you might like to politely decline a feature there too.

  1. Stay away from questionable quizzes

The internet is a wonderful source of knowledge and a tool for self-discovery. Who doesn’t want to know what Hogwarts House they belong to or what fall fashion trend matches you? Unfortunately, some quizzes are created by scammers and criminals to gain specific knowledge about your habits, income, and behavior. Some might even secretly sell your data, opt you into other apps, or gain access to your login credentials.

Unless you trust the company behind the quiz, you want to avoid the risk – no matter how tempting it is to know if you are Daenerys-Rhaenyra or Gendry-Laenor.

  1. Take an active role in your security

In the same way, you have regular check-ups with a GP, you should also have regular digital check-ups. Some things to look out for:

  • Profile privacy settings. Private profiles are the safest; ideally, you want to know exactly who you’re sharing your personal information with.
  • Repeated passwords. Every time you repeat a password, you create another entry point into your personal information. While your banking site may be extremely unlikely to be hacked, that defunct online store you purchased from in 2018 is. Use a password manager to create strong passwords and keep track of all your accounts.
  • Become your own stalker. In an incognito or private window, surf Google and look yourself up on social media. This will show information that is available to potential criminals.
  • Invest in your security. Social media is driven by humans, and humans make mistakes. Make sure you have peace of mind knowing that if your aunt tags you in a photo on vacation, your home is still protected from opportune intruders.

Regardless if you are away from home for an hour, or a month, you want to ensure that your home is protected while you’re not there. From the front door to your windows, Crimsafe’s industry-leading security screens are custom-designed to protect any home.

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Source: “Don’t Share” This One Kind of Photo on Facebook, Police Say in New Warning on Yahoo!Life posted August 2022