Broadcasting your comings and goings through social media? You might regret it

Written by admin on July 10, 2009 – 5:18 pm -

In an era of social networking, when people are posting the happenings taking place in their lives and are tweeting and posting every move on Twitter, Facebook and other sites, we know more about one another and strangers than we ever have before.

Tripit is a great site for recording travel plans and there’s an application for linking it to your LinkedIn, profile so if friends or business colleagues are traveling to the same place at the same time, you can meet up.

Some people have many followers. And we’re no longer referring to only young people, since the demographics of social networking have rapidly changed in the recent past.

Now, baby boomers have taken to networking big time. With the advent of cell phones with innumerable social media applications, we can twitter about trips in progress and shoot photos of our family standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in real time.

Are we setting ourselves up to be robbed or have our identities stolen by broadcasting our every movement?

What happened to the days when parents advised their children not to tell their classmates the family was taking its annual vacation or going to Grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner?

It wasn’t so many years ago when people were nervous that a person’s house might be robbed if an obituary were printed in the local newspaper or if there were a for sale sign posted in front of a house that was still furnished.

Many people have alarmed their houses and apartments with complex and intricate alarm system. But sophisticated robbers — with enough time and advanced warning — may be able to crack the codes and clear out your life and possessions as you’re posting your every movement for the cyberworld to read.

Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says, “People just don’t realize the kind of information they give out in social networking sites can be used on its own or with other information to commit identity theft and other fraudulent activity.”

We know robberies have radically increased during the recent recession and neighborhood papers are filled with notices of who and what’s been taken via break-ins and muggings.

I have a kitty/apartment sitter coming to stay in my digs during my upcoming trip. And I spent the money to install an alarm system for extra precaution.

What steps are you taking to protect your home and safety not to mention your peace of mind?

It’s a whole new world. For better or for worse.

Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis.

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