Using Social Media While Avoiding the Pitfalls

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

 

 

There is something that sometimes gives me concern. It often happens while I'm visiting Facebook pages of some of my young family members.  It is astonishing how relaxed they can sometimes be, with the amount of information they are willing to dish out and post, while using social media.

Granted, we are given the option of choosing our friends on Facebook.
  And we have some control over which entities have access to our more personal aspects in cyber space.

However, things can change among friends, and we don't always know well some of those folks we accept as "friends.”

 

Awhile back I was startled when I found one of my grandkid's full birthdate, and place of birth on his profile page.  I immediately emailed, to warn him of potential dangers lurking.

Here are some things you should consider if you are using social media including Facebook, Twitter, etc.,

 

(1) It's probably ok, to provide the month and day you were born.  However, providing the year you were born gives identity thieves a piece of key information for stealing your financial life.  Couple that with the knowledge of your place of birth, and sometimes identity thieves can predict some of the numbers in your Social Security number, if not most or all.

(2) Be wary of providing your home address.  Several months ago, Ponemon Institute conducted a study, which found that Social Media users were at risk of identity theft because of information they were providing on their social sites.  Others were actually putting themselves at physical risk.  The study found that most contacts that had been accepted as "friends" were actually just acquaintances or people they knew - some only slightly.

 

(3) If you want to talk or brag about your vacation or trips, wait until you return home.  Telling the world that you're going to be gone for 2 weeks cruising the Bahamas, or wherever, is telling thieves, "Come rob me."

 

(4) Passwords are another area that needs serious consideration.  If you use the same password for just about every on-line activity you perform, you are at risk.  If you are using your mother's maiden name, or other predictable criteria, you're making it easy for crooks to guess your passwords. 

 

(5) And, suggesting that passwords have 8 characters including a capital, doesn't mean you should choose, "sneezy - sleepy - dopey - doc - happy - bashful - grumpy - and sacramento" either.  Only we blondes are allowed to do that:-)

 

(6) One of the more important things to consider is what you decide to put out in cyberland, has the potential of being looked at by future or current employers, school admissions people, and other entities that may not think it is funny, that you love to party down and get drunk every weekend, or recreationally smoke the "funny stuff." 

 

If you use a few good sense precautions, you ought to remain reasonably safe, while exploiting the wonderful possibilities available through social networking.  The key is to remain cautious and to use care.

 

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Re-Bloggged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joni Staples 04/13/2012 11:35 AM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 04/14/2012 05:54 AM
  3. Maria Morton 04/14/2012 09:15 AM
  4. Terrie Leighton 04/14/2012 02:29 PM
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Topic:
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Location:
California Sacramento County Sacramento
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myrl jeffcoat
social media safety

Comments 43 New Comment

Rainer
224,061
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial

Great Tips! I would add to regularly check your privacy settings. Facebook has a nasty habit of changing those without your knowledge.

April 14, 2012 09:30 PM
Ambassador
1,518,686
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Myrl - We have a brave, new world available to all of us these days, and we need to navigate carefully.

April 14, 2012 09:37 PM
Rainmaker
97,165
Jennie Miller, PLLC
AZ Broker - Real Estate Services 480-382-9681
Buy/Sell/Rent Your Home in Phoenix Metro Area

The information available on the internet is amazing.  There are many things that should be kept confidential and many people disclose too much information!

April 14, 2012 10:17 PM
Rainmaker
1,761,698
Roy Kelley
Retired Real Estate Broker, Maryland Blogger

Very good advice for those that use social media.  Many are very careless with the information they provide to the world.

April 15, 2012 08:59 AM
Rainmaker
1,069,136
Myrl Jeffcoat
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
GreatWest Realty

All - I am a little behind in responding to all of your wonderful comments, but I want you to know I have read each and every one of them, and I am appreciative of your thoughts. 

I worry most about kids, who use social media, without proper precaution.  They can easilyl enjoy the social media experience, if a few steps are taken using safety.

April 15, 2012 11:28 AM
Rainmaker
1,069,136

Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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