Social Media Stalking Safety

I truly believe that social media can be used safely with a few tips for safety.  We teach our teenagers these simple steps then forget to follow them ourselves.

  • If you must use checkin services like FourSquare, check in as you are leaving.
  • Never check in to places like home, work or other places you visit on a regular schedule.
  • Keep in mind that checking in surrounding your home (i.e.  grocery store, Starbucks on the corner, etc) is a good indicator of what part of town you are in.
  • Know where you are sending an update! Do not set your social media accounts to auto-populate.  For example, don’t automatically send your Foursquare checkins to Twitter or Twitter to Facebook.  Doing this manually will help you keep better “tabs” on the information you are putting out on the web.
  • Think before you tweet! Every aspect of your life does not have to be tweeted or documented with a checkin.  You often do not realize you have a dangerous stalking situation immediately.
  • Turn off the location setting on social media sites.  Some sites offer the ability to use your phone’s GPS to share your location turn these options off to ensure you are not sharing a location you should keep private.
  • Read the details of the apps you download.  Many apps gain control of things like GPS and have the ability to update your social media.  Know what you are authorizing when you download.

Social media is an incredible networking tool; however, since it is a public forum it is best to take care of what you share.

There are a number of sites out there that make gathering your Facebook (or other social media site) data easier.  Some of these offer opt-out programs, but others unfortunately do not.  It is a good reminder to be careful what you post on social media.

Opt-out from the latest of these social media information aggregators here.