Diane Robinson: The Unique Triple A™
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Oversharing Safely

Identity theft can be just as damaging as a break-in.

The biggest threat of oversharing information is Identity Theft. You returned from vacation and/or returning to school and can’t wait to share your photos with family and friends. With our new social media tech age through Facebook, MySpace, etc., to share “photo albums,” oversharing raises new challenges as far as protecting your identity is concerned.

For better or worse, the Internet has become an integral part of life, BUT on the negative side, interconnectivity has spawned new breeds of crime, such as cyber stalking and phishing. Even with things set to "Friends Only," often people who you think are friends OR who you really don't even know can get access to your photos, vacation plans, out of town dates and personal information.

So how do you make sure you aren’t unintentionally sharing information about your personal identity? Before you place those photos and information out there, remember the following Unique Triple A keywords:

To Tweet, Instagram, Post, or Not?
  • Whether it is from your computer or mobile device, to live tweet, Instagram or post your fabulous vacation on social media WHILE ON VACATION, AVOID. Because, in addition to sharing the cool things you’re doing, you’re also sharing the fact that you’re not home and perhaps not paying attention to your financial accounts, either. Is a neighbor watching your house? Instead, post #latergrams. Wait until you get home to post your adventures.
  • Not only can photos be stolen and used by strangers, but those taken by phones or devices with GPS technology, contain tags that reveal exactly where the photos were snapped. AVOID taking pics in front of your house that includes your address.
  • A soldier's photo was stolen off MySpace, posted by scam artists under a fake account and used to con one woman out of thousands of dollars. One blogger found her family's photo being used as an advertisement in the Czech Republic.

Protect your Family
  • AVOID including children’s first name in the pic. This gives predators easier access to your children, because in a child's mind, someone who knows their name is not a stranger.
  • AVOID including pics of your children in front of their school with the school name clearly readable. This allows predator types to know exactly where to find your children and if they know the kids' grade, they also can find out exactly when they get out of school and/or follow them home.
  • Not only can photos be stolen and used by strangers, but many photos, especially those taken by phones or devices with GPS technology, contain tags that reveal exactly where the photos were snapped. In other words, if a parent takes a photo of his or her child playing at home and then posts it online, it's possible for strangers to know exactly where they live. Another mother's photo of her 4-year-old was pulled off Flickr and posted on a Brazilian social networking site where it was rated for "sexiness.”
Before Posting
  1. Should I share this? Will the info I share put myself or others in danger?
  2. Do people really need to know where I am, where I am going and with whom?
  3. Am I selecting friends online that I can trust? It’s not just about what I post, but how others can use that content.
  4. Is the info I share transparent? Does my post give out too much info?
  5. Have I rechecked my profile page lately? Did I know when creating a profile, I do not need to enter all of the requested info? The set-up page usually requires to fill out basic info, such as name and email. Did I know that everything else is optional and should not feel obligated to add more info?
Copyright © 2015 Diane Robinson, All rights reserved.

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The Unique Triple A™ · P.O. BOX 4751 · Palos Verdes, CA 90274 · USA

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