Burglars and Social Media

1. Location Sharing Applications 

Checking in at different locations may be a simple way to let your friends and family know how you’re doing, but they aren’t the only ones checking in on you. Criminals use location sharing services to gather information for potential victims. With a rough idea of where you live and access to Google Street view, criminals can begin to plan a break in.

Many applications have location sharing features that may communicate with other applications on your device, some having less security. A way to avoid any unwelcome guests into your privacy would be to go through your applications and fully understand the privacy and location settings. Many social media applications have a way for you to adjust these settings to your desired security level.

For example you can check your Facebook privacy settings to see who is able to see your post, and then adjust accordingly.

Being aware of which applications use your GPS automatically is a great way to avoid any security surprises. Not only can they leave you vulnerable to prying eyes, but they also have been know to drain battery life.

2. Hidden Media Data 

Being able to share your media content with friends, and family is one of the greatest parts of social media. Unfortunately the wrong people may also be taking a glimpse at the content as well, and using that information to target you.

Every picture you upload online has many different pieces of information. Such as where the picture was taken, the time stamp of when, and on what device.

It is known as EXIF data. There are a few sites that help to remove this data from your upload automatically, such as Facebook. While many other sites do not. Any criminal who knows how to find this information can use it to your disadvantage.

Fortunately EXIF data is not something that cannot be removed.

It is still wise to remain cautious when making a post even if the EXIF data has been cleared. It is not very difficult for someone to find your location based on landmarks, street names, or personal information you may have posted.

3. Too Informative Posts 

It is understandable to have the urge to alert the masses about you having an amazing time while on vacation. Yet it may not be the wisest idea to do this while it is happening in real time. Nothing ruins a good moment like an unwanted guest.

A better way of expressing yourself would be to wait until you are home safe and sound. You may even decide to be a little more private with some things than others. Sometimes it is best to keep those moments between you and the people who made them. Using private photo sharing applications like Flickr, or Google Photos would be a great way to make sure the memories are shared with those who appreciate them.

4. Reverse image search

When posting pictures to multiple sites you become vulnerable to reverse image searches. This type of search can show all of the sites that the image has been uploaded to.

How it works is if you post an image onto multiple sites, it creates a way for criminals to track it from site to site. All it takes is downloading that image and then putting it through a simple Google search to find all of the sites that it is posted to.

While doing this a criminal could find out your name and then use that information to do another search to then possibly find even more information.

Remaining cautious with where, and how you upload photos can help to prevent this type of intrusion.

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