Online profiles offer a load of personal information to anyone who knows how to search online. Besides your profile on social networks, have you considered the information you are posting online?
Online users in their need to "connect" and "interact" are sharing so much information only that it's making them vulnerable to criminals. The Digital Criminal, published by a reformed burglar Michael Fraser, provides some very eye-opening statistics which I am sharing below:
- Approximately 38% of users publish their holiday plans on Twitter and Facebook. I used to be one of those 38% until last year.
- 33% of people have posted status updates telling everyone that they were away for the weekend.
- 17% of users can see other people's residential information on totally public profiles
Michael Fraser is correct when he calls social network statuses as "internet shopping for burglars". People are not only telling others that they are out but are also providing coordinates of where they are. Do we even realize what we are doing when we are baring all information for others to see.
Are you connecting with perfect strangers? Is your personal information easily viewable? Are you giving out details about vacation and travel plans readily?
So friends and colleagues, THINK whether you are giving out TMI meaning TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
Here are some other findings from the Digital Report – remember, a little is a lot on social networks!
- Younger people share more information with perfect strangers – parents beware
- 34% of study participants shared that they seen personal phone numbers on people's profiles
- People are sharing cell phone and home addresses with perfect strangers
- Men are more open with their information than women
Next time you tweet or update your Facebook or Buzz status, think whether the information can make you vulnerable to a criminal activity.