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.

 

close

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
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the leaf to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
California Sacramento County Sacramento
Groups:
Diary of a Realtor
Dedicated Bloggers
Bartender, Make it a Double
Family Ties
BananaTude
Tags:
myrl jeffcoat
social media safety

Comments 43 New Comment

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
829,347
Fred Carver
Accredited Victoria BC Real Estate Consultant
Re/Max Camosun Real Estate

Hi Myrl...Sharp eye, Good for you to let you Grandson know about potential dangers in Facebook and other Social Media...Congratulations on a great feature.

April 14, 2012 10:01 AM
Rainmaker
56,613
Gayle Causey
Keller Williams Realty Parishwide Partners

Such good tips! We all need a reminder now & then!

April 14, 2012 10:17 AM
Ambassador
1,080,903
Bryan Robertson
Broker, Author, Speaker
Catarra Real Estate, Inc

I provide significantly less information online than I used to.  Most of my personal life is left completely offline.  Most of my posts are business related.

April 14, 2012 12:37 PM
Ambassador
1,215,668
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

I caught my youngest son putting too much info out there on his profile -- cell phone, our address, etc. Needless to say that is now gone!

April 14, 2012 01:03 PM
Ambassador
406,045
Tammy Emineth
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

Great reminders Mryl, and so many people totally ignore #3 until it's too late. I frequently change my password to Facebook to avoid any hackers but you just never know... Facebook is attached to EVERYTHING these days and one "like" over there can end up where you don't want it.

April 14, 2012 01:10 PM
Rainmaker
581,081
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.

I bookedmarked your post!  These are great reminders and I am going to place your post on my facebook page.

Thanks!!

April 14, 2012 02:14 PM
Ambassador
392,996
Terrie Leighton
Reno Real Estate Agent
Ferrari-Lund ~ Reno's Premier Real Estate Company

Hi Myrl ~ these are wonderful tips to share with everyone who is using social media. Using a few good sense precautions is crucial to remaining safe while on-line. Sadly, many many folks do not know what good sense means!!

April 14, 2012 02:25 PM
Rainmaker
1,029,335
Joan Whitebook
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
BHG The Masiello Group

An excellent post.  If one follows these guidesline, then they should be relative safe when using social media!

April 14, 2012 02:34 PM
Ambassador
1,419,029
Kathy Streib
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
Room Service Home Staging

Myrl- we need to paste this near all of our computers!  I've warned my friends about putting the year they were born for the very reason you mentioned.  It's so unfortunate that we now live in a world where we have to take these precautions. 

April 14, 2012 02:49 PM
Rainmaker
1,718,046
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.
WHISPERING PINES REALTY

I have not gotten into anything much more than AR and linkedin. 

I can hardly keep up with this.

April 14, 2012 06:51 PM
Rainmaker
525,409
Shirley Parks
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Homes
Sands Realty 210-414-0966

Hi Myrl,  I'm amazed at the things some people put on Facebook.  I recently was looking at the page of someone who is promoting himself as a luxury home agent and trying to create a certain image.  Then I clicked on his personal page and his girlfriend's personal page and saw the "real" person.  Was not impressed.

April 14, 2012 07:39 PM
Rainmaker
645,444
Evelyn Kennedy
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California

Myrl:

Such good information, especially for kids.  They don't realize all the information they provide to just anyone.  I keep telling my daughter to watch what she posts. 

April 14, 2012 07:40 PM
Ambassador
1,488,288
Ed Silva
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754

Myrl, I'm not as social as many here on AR when it comes to those special sites, Guess I'm not doing to badly after all

April 14, 2012 07:46 PM
Ambassador
1,427,005
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com

Myrl, It's something I always keep in mind when traveling.  No Facebook status updates about being somewhere other than home until I'm back to my own front porch :)

April 14, 2012 08:49 PM
Ambassador
2,346,347
Patricia Kennedy
For Your Home in the Capital
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.

Myrl, I am amazed at how indiscrete people are on Facebook.  Not just the kids, either! 

April 14, 2012 08:59 PM
Rainer
230,486
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
1,538,449
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
97,265
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
1,864,052
Roy Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
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
1,096,597
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
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,096,597

Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the magnifying-glass to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase: