Most of us love social media sites. They provide us with an easy way to stay in touch with loved ones, the ability to let people know what we’re up to and to simply check in with someone.
What many of us don’t think about is how individuals with criminal intentions can use social media against us.
If you love your social media platforms, there are some common social media crimes you should know about. Once you’re aware of these crimes and cons, you can take steps to monitor your account and protect yourself.
Hacking is a huge problem, particularly with Facebook. Every single day, there are stories about someone’s account either being hacked or someone creating a mirror account and using their newly gained access to gain access to another person’s computer files, contacts and personal information.
In many cases, these hacking cases eventually turn into identity theft situations which is why it’s important to quickly change passwords and contact the social media platform’s administrators as soon as the hacking attempt is discovered.
Stalking and Bullying
Everything good has a downside. The praise, encouragement and general good vibes you receive when you share the good news on social media sites are balanced by the stalking and bullying that is found all over social media. The bullying is bad. It can quickly eat at the victim’s self-confidence. There have even been cases of social media bullying leading to suicide.
Alongside the bullying is stalking. While this is mostly only discussed when someone is talking about a public profile, it can be a problem for anyone who uses social media sites. Not only can a stalker follow us virtually, but when we post personal information, including pictures of our homes/cars/vacation spots, we create a situation where a stalker could also start following us in real-time. This is why it’s so important to be very conscious about how much personal information you post on social media sites and to carefully go over every picture and make sure there isn’t anything a stalker could use to pinpoint your location.
Vacation robberies have been around forever, the original Home Alone plot was based around a vacation robbery, but they used to require the thieves to pay attention to a specific neighborhood and learn the signs that someone was out of town. Today, thieves who participate in vacation robberies simply have to pay attention to social media and see who is talking about vacation while they are out of town.
The best way to avoid being a victim of a vacation robbery is to resist the urge to post vacation photos on your social media sites until you’re home. When posting, be very clear that you’re home and that your home isn’t ripe for a robbery.
What steps do you take to avoid common social media crimes?