Dear Facebook, Please rob me!

Dear Facebook, Please rob me!

The world has gone social media crazy. With over a billion users, Facebook leads the pack as the largest, most active and most time consuming social network of choice. Facebook is fun, easy to use and never ceases to amaze me how it connects me with old friends and family.

However, in my opinion there are a couple of things about Facebook that aren’t garnering enough attention, but need to be addressed.

Recently we all heard in the mainstream media and in the social world about Facebook’s privacy issues. There was considerable chatter about “Facebook alternatives” popping up and the potential demise of Facebook. Needless to say, this seems to have passed rather quickly.

Still, I belive there is way too much transparency on social media as a whole…but, especially on Facebook. What I see is a lot of people who still haven’t figured out how to secure their privacy settings. If you don’t care if robbers see your photos, email address, where you live, where you work, etc…please disregard this.

I believe it’s a mistake to post on Facebook that you’re on vacation or away from home for awhile. If you are bound and determined to do that…please make sure your privacy settings are set in a certain way. If they’re not, it’s very easy for robbers to do what they do best.

First of all, do you really need to include private, pertinent information like address & phone number in your profile? (Answer: no.) Do you also include where you work and where you go to church? If you do, then it’s even more important to set all your privacy settings on Facebook to “friends only.”

Let’s say you have 200 Facebook friends and you’ve included where you work in your profile AND you have some of your settings set to “friends of friends.” Do you know all 200 of your friends AND THEIR FRIENDS? Probably not. If this is the case, there’s no way you can be sure who else is able to see certain areas of your profile.

Here’s what can happen: A robber finds your profile through one of their friends. You just posted that you’re at the beach on vacation. On your profile you’ve left off your address and phone number, but you do have your current employer listed. The robber simply prints off your profile picture, Googles your employer’s address and follows you home from work when you leave one afternoon. Now the robber knows where you live. So, the next time you post that you’re on vacation…the robber goes to work. It’s that simple.

Now, that’s a pretty creepy scenario to think about. But, it can and does happen.

Here’s the real point I’m trying to make: lock down those privacy settings. Make sure all your information, pictures, wall posts…everything…is set to “friends only.” You might also consider leaving as much information as possible off your profile. Your close, personal friends probably already have your phone number and know where you work & live.  Also, think twice about posting that you’re on vacation. Play it safe…wait and share your photos when you return.

Along these lines…I will be posting soon about teens and college students on social media, how you should conduct yourself on social media and how to use social media to land a new job.

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