Many people love to share highlights of their lives through social media, including daily routine updates such as running or hiking, sending kids off to school each day, or laptop working sessions at a favorite coffee shop. Experts say, however, that posting information like this often including hidden information like detailed locations and timelines, opening the door to criminals who can use that information for everything from stalking to robbery to worse.
- Many runner apps that help user track their workouts also show full GPS maps tracking their route and run times that anyone else using the app can access.
- Those photos you post to Facebook where you “check in” to a geographical area on your regular Monday-Wednesday-Friday hike with friends often contains information that lets others know your routine, location, and time of day you can be found – or your home found empty.
- Those cute pics of your kids walking to school each day, or at soccer practice, can show the location, routes, and times of their daily routines, giving strangers information that allows them to estimate their routines and when they would be most likely to be without adult supervision.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t track your progress as you train for that next marathon, or photos of the kids at practice or being adorable. Just be sure to take the time to adjust the privacy settings on the apps and social media accounts you use and follow these safety guidelines:
- Turn off GPS tracking on all apps.
- Do not “check in” to locations. Take a photo when you’re there, then post it later without giving specifics.
- For all children photos resist sharing information such as: last names, street or park names, times or locations of any routines, full names of coaches or teachers, practice or game times, school names, etc.
- Do not let people know when you’re going on vacation, or a marathon shopping trip downtown, or a last-minute trip to Vegas, etc. Share after it’s over (you’ll have so many more photos that way anyway!)
- If you have teenagers with their own social media account, avoid “tagging” them, which will allow others to find those accounts.
For more information about online safety, we encourage you to check out the following articles – and if you’re ever concerned about your own Softcom account give us a call at 800-982-7675.