Remember the "Bling Ring"? There was a movie, based on a true story, made about these L.A. kids who would seek out celebrities like Paris Hilton online and see what they were buying based on photos the celebs took of themselves...and they'd also check out when they were and weren't home. These savvy, burglary-prone kids used social media as a form of intelligence gathering to commit crimes.
You are just as guilty as celebs of posting TMI and making yourself and your family vulnerable. Your status updates, such as what you just bought (like that shiny new iPad) or what you just got (like that $15k engagement ring), are attractive to thieves.
Personal information: In the About section, you may have your email address, home address, mobile and/or home phone number. With any of this data, your home is vulnerable to thieves. Never put your home address online, and do a search to see what data shows up with your home and mobile number. See if your email can be traced back to your home address. Don't post any of it.
Photos: Be discreet about things you own that might be of significant resale value to a criminal, as that aforementioned ring can easily be fenced for five grand. Also, keep in mind that those pictures you post may have data built into them with the exact location of where they were taken.
Videos: Taking videos of your home and its surroundings may provide footage of street signs or landmarks, giving bad guys lots to go on.
Status updates: Telling everyone you are sick of the local weather and can't wait to get to your sunny destination is just not right. And once you get there and start babbling all day about how good the margaritas are and how everyone else is jealous of you, you may be in for a rude awakening when you get home.
- Don't post holiday plans, like trips to Grandma's.
- Don't respond to invitations telling everyone you "will attend."
- Don't tell anyone you're at the mechanic's all day and are sick of waiting, etc.
Be smart about what you post; don't provide intelligence to the bad guys. Information is power. Don't give them that power.