Leaving the key out for burglars this Christmas?

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The advent of Social Media has been fantastic in so many ways – keeping people connected, enabling people to see what someone on the other side of the world is seeing, and making event organising just that little bit easier! But what Social Media has been- and will continue to be detrimental for exposing the every move of the tech-savvy individual.

With the top two most common forms of Facebook posts categorised by the following[1] – The Announcers (e.g. I’ve just been given a trip to Vanuatu for Christmas…woo hoo!) and The Status Reporters (e.g. at the airport on my way to Vanuatu) – Social Media for those with less honourable intentions has fast become like a candy store for a kid…heaven!

The question many don’t ask themselves when making harmless posts is: “Why would I willingly tell thieves what I’m doing this Christmas?”

To help overcome this evasion of privacy without being the Christmas Grinch, Signal Security have put together a list of things to be mindful of when exploiting your movements on Social Media these holidays.

  • Modesty is key: The fourth most common form of Facebook upload is what’s referred to as The Braggarts & Show-Offs. Although you might be having a great time on holidays, not everyone will be doing something as great as you or might not wish to have their newsfeed filled with your pictures. Therefore, choose your uploads wisely and distribute sparingly to ensure you keep your friends in favour and burglars at bay. 
  • Be social, not socially engineered: For the untrained eye, your profile data says nothing more than the basics about your life, personality and regular activity. For cybercriminals this information is used in what experts call social engineering schemes[2]. This information can be used for planning schemes as far out as two weeks before a big event or as quickly as three hours after it. Therefore, to ensure your data doesn’t let you down whilst your home is unattended, think about the finer details of the content you post and your timings. Bring back the old-fashioned photo viewing night, we say!
  • Public or Private? Although somewhat going against the grain of social networking, one of the easiest ways to minimise the risk of sharing too much information is to make your profile private. Make sure your settings give you full control over who sees your uploads, who can comment and who can make uploads about you because it can often be the best intentions of others that can undo all your good work!
  • Nobody likes a show-off! Christmas is a time for gifting – that includes giving and receiving! One of the biggest mistakes people make at times like Christmas is their urge to show the world what filled Santa’s stocking.  For those lucky few who receive gifts by the likes of jewellery, cash, art, golf clubs, motorbikes…we’re talking to you!  Therefore, to ensure that thieves aren’t waiting to have their own Christmas with your presents, remember, no one likes a show off!

And if that’s not enough, here are a few tips from Facebook themselves about controlling what you share on the social network.

  1. Check out who can see your past posts – and limit the audience if you’re not comfortable with anything.
  2. Consider who you’re sharing with today. Each time you post a new photo, status update, link or other content you can set the privacy for it. Just look for the audience selector and follow the prompts.
  3. To review or change who can see your stuff, visit your privacy shortcuts. Just click the lock at the top of any page on Facebook.

References

  1. http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/types-of-facebook-updates/
  2. http://socialbarrel.seermarketingpty.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/How-Too-Much-Information-Shared-Through-Social-Media-Can-Really-Hurt-You-Infographic.jpg

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