That harmless post could be a gold mine for criminals

What information you share online, and with whom you share it will significantly impact your level of personal privacy and safety.

Interviewed this week for the Komo TV story titled That harmless post could be a gold mine for criminals, Linda Criddle answered questions about several recent news articles linking online comments to home burglaries.

Here is an excerpt from that interview:

Criddle says criminals find potential targets by searching for individuals or searching for specific groups. They look for information most people think is safe like where you are, and what you’re doing.

“Sharing that information, where you are, is some of the most sensitive information that you can share,” Criddle cautioned.

Criminals also scour baby registries, bridal registries, and memorial and wedding sites to find when people will be away from home.

“Once you’ve shared it you no longer control it,” she said. “Those people now control how that piece of information gets shared.”

Criddle says the Internet and social network sites are great tools for consumers, you just have to be aware. Before you post a picture, consider what the photo says about where you live, what you own, and who you know.

Regularly update your privacy settings — some policies can change without notice. Weed-out friends you don’t really know or rarely connect with. And consider opting out of location features that tell where you are all the time.

Finally, be extremely careful about entering posts online that tell the world you’re not going to be at home. Criddle says posting even something as seeming harmless as a daily latte at your favorite coffee shop can expose your daily routine and alert thieves to when you’re likely to be away.

To learn more about how to protect online information, watch this video Protecting Kids on Social Networks made by us here at LOOKBOTHWAYS.



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