Perusing through my timeline, I tether on the line of amazement and amusement. One “friend” posts:
“Amazing how my life changed when I finally let God give me the love I was searching for. *tear*”
While another posts:
“I think im bout to go to sleep if ion find a move! Im sleepy and not hittin the lotto fucked my mood up!”
Which raises the question, Who am I allowing in my social network? Nearing 40 years old, I realize I have created multiple networks over those years. Am I holding on to past relationships which should remain there; in my past? How many of these hundreds/thousands of people do I really know? Why do I share intimate details of my life with people I don’t know?
Although mind boggling, I have determined in my assessment; it is not conducive to a safe lifestyle for my family or I. Shopping in the grocery store, I’ve been approached by people like… “Cole!!! How are you? How are Vanessa and the children? The little one is getting so BIG!”
My dumbfounded stare gives away my naivety until they say, “I’m sorry, I am (insert name) and I am your friend on Facebook. I also follow you on Twitter.”
Whoa! Are you serious? I have never seen this person in my entire life and they almost KNOW me. The day I had that feeling was the day I realized how we subject ourselves to attack and scrutiny daily.
As a co-owner of a business which teaches women self-defense, I began researching how social, social networking has become. It was in these findings, I decided to share with you how easy you can “Define or Destroy Your Character, In Less Than 140 Characters.
Before we enter the crux of the matter, the surface is simple. Social networking is a cesspool for identity theft and cyber sexual predators. I cannot emphasize enough the dangers of social networking if not performed correctly. There are people who want to know your every move and you are giving it to them play-by-play.
Social sites such as FourSquare, Twitter, Yelp, etc. gives you the option of utilizing a global positioning system (GPS) to “check-in” where you are. This makes me cringe every time I hear of a woman candidly handing over pertinent information to their location. You have the possibility of inviting unwanted company as well as telling the world… “No one is at my house, go rob it!”
Be careful! There are so many ways to injure yourself on these sites. Yet, there are simple things you could change to be protected. Here is a checklist of NO MOs:
- No Mo “countdowns” to going on vacation.
Your countdown to vacation is a criminal’s countdown to burglary. Saying when, where and how long gives a could-be criminal, all the information they need.
- No Mo “check-ins” giving away my current location.
Better to do it on way out of door! Saying where you are gives potential stalkers a tool to track and find you. It also gives an open invitation to an empty residence.
- No Mo “celebrating” birthdays of my children with pictures and names.
Please understand that putting your children’s names with pictures and ages give child predators an upper hand. In addition, NEVER put the name of the school your child attends.
- No Mo “ignoring” the privacy setting changes.
It took me getting an Android phone to realize how much information is “synced” without request or regards for personal privacy. If I had someone’s phone number, it showed their photo in my contents, other numbers and linked their Facebook profile. Not safe!
For those of you who “never “post personal information, take the time to read the following blog posts:
More safety tips at www.divasindefense.com