Over-Sharing Could Get You Robbed (And Other Facebook Privacy Tips)
By Pauline Hammerbeck, Allstate
Sharing your plans for a Vegas bachelorette on Facebook? Or pics of the game on your new 60” LCD? Beyond the problem of coming off as one of those “over-sharing” types, these and other behaviors could make you the target of a burglary or the victim of identity theft.
Here’s how to keep your Facebook friends in the loop, and protect your online privacy at the same time.
Create a “Close Friends” list. Researchers estimate that two-thirds of burglaries are committed by someone who knows the victim “at least a little.” That’s a good reason to prune your friends list. Or, at the very least, create a closer circle of Facebook friends. From the left side of your home screen, click “Lists” and choose “Create List.” Add only your nearest and dearest. And make this your default sharing list.
Don’t share your location. Did you know that if the GPS is enabled on your phone, the pictures you take contain the coordinates of where the photo was taken? Disable your phone’s GPS if you plan on uploading photos. Also: be tight lipped about out-of-town trips; consider refraining from check-ins; and ask your friends to hold off posting vacation pics, or tagging you, until you’re back home.
Log out of Facebook. Closing a Web page or exiting a browser doesn’t log you out of Facebook. Manually logging out is essential when you’re on a public computer. Otherwise, the next person who goes to Facebook.com will find themselves already logged in—but on your account! A tip: You can remotely close a session from the “Account Security” section of the “Account Settings” page.
A lot of renters shrug off Facebook privacy tips, thinking they don’t really have much of anything to entice someone to burglarize them. But take a look around: there’s your smartphone, your iPod, your tablet…you’ll be surprised how quickly it all adds up.
What steps are you taking to protect yourself on Facebook?
Guest blogger Pauline Hammerbeck is an editor for The Allstate blog, which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life.