Tag Archives: Cyber_Criminals

Search Engine Marketing Blog: Why Oh Why?? (Are you “baring all” on Social Networking Websites?)

Three men were arrested recently for robbing 18 homes in the New Hampshire and getting away with $200,000 in personal property. The police didn't realize that the robberies and the three men were connected.

Finally they were able to figure out that every victim of these robberies had posted a status message on their Facebook page letting everyone now of their business or vacation travel plans. The told their fans that they were going to be out of town for several days and of course their profiles were not protected.

Although I want to say Uh, DUH!, I know that I've made that mistake once in the past by posting my family's vacation plans on Facebook. Fortunately for me at least my Facebook privacy settings prevented others from viewing my status updates and perhaps it was dumb luck that we didn't get robbed.

It is so important not to "bare all" on social networks even though it is so tempting to and done more than we all realize. From showcasing our personal likes and dislikes to giving out information that makes us a target for criminals, we all tend to make such mistakes. But just like we are vigilante about our emails and our online transactions now, it's time to wise up and start thinking "safe" when posting anything to social networks. Sometimes it's involuntary because we want to tell people how much fun we are having while on vacation but why not wait until you return home to showcase your vacation fun?

I always say, be careful what you say online. If what you say can lead to unemployment, jail or becoming a victim, don't do it.
 
P.S. Perhaps I should invent a "does it need to be said" button as a third-party app that pops up each time a user posts a status update and offer it to Facebook???
 

Social Media Blog: Are Your Social Profile and Status Updates TMI?

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.