Home Security and Social Networking

February 12, 2011 in Home Security System

social networkingIf you’re serious about protecting yourself and your possessions, you probably have a home security system that covers every vulnerable area of your home. You lock your car when you’re not driving, and probably turn on your car alarm to alert you if anybody tries to steal it. Taking your home security system a step beyond the material world into cyberspace, you probably have firewalls and other security software installed on your computer to safeguard it from viruses, and protect your files from criminals preying on sensitive information. But there are more pitfalls in the world of the Internet than most people are aware of.

Social networking is one of the most popular ways to connect with friends and family across the globe – but it’s also a huge threat to your privacy and safety. Even if you think you’re being careful about the information you post on your pages, you might be giving away much more information than you think. Posting photos of places you frequent and people you hang out with can give people with bad intentions a lot more information about you than you intend. If you meet friends every weekend for a game, a potential burglar will easily recognize a pattern, and know exactly when you’re away. It becomes just a matter of good planning to wait until the coast is clear to enter your home uninvited. But burglars aren’t the only type of criminals out there looking for any way to breach your home security system and get to you. Stalkers get huge amounts of data about people they’re obsessed with from social networking sites. If you tweet that you had such a good workout at the gym and have decided to jog home instead of driving, it provides a stalker with far too much information for safety.

Scam artists can pick up on your insecurities by reading your posts on social networking sites, and target you accordingly. For example, if you’re looking for a job or a new apartment and you publicly state that, you could receive all sorts of false offers meant to get your credit card information or social security number. Or if you regularly share information about your latest purchases, criminals can target scams towards your spending habits. Shared calendars are another way of spreading information you’d rather keep secret. If an unauthorized individual gains access to your schedule, your every move becomes an open, downloadable book.

Knowing all of this, it’s clear that social networking should be approached with great care. Never post information about your finances, your daily schedule, or your weekend whereabouts. Make sure to regularly update your antivirus software and firewall, and if you don’t already have one, install a home security system. Most importantly, if you feel threatened in any way, contact your local police department immediately and request that they make up an investigative report.

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