"YIPPEE! TGIF! Off to South Florida with the fam for the entire week-end"
Hmmm.. Face Book status updates, that small rectangular box on top of your Facebook page that asks you so beguilingly: "What's on your Mind?" with a button just below it that invites you, entices you to 'SHARE". But security experts have been warning Facebook users to be mindful of what they do "SHARE" on Facebook. They remind us that hidden among the group of persons we consider "friends' in our Facebook circle are persons who will use that information maliciously as one young lady who is in the United states found out a few weeks ago.
The story has been making the rounds for some weeks now, but CNN's Anderson Cooper recently spoke to the young lady and obtained footage from the security camera in her home of two young men including one of her Face Book Friends who she later found was her childhood friend. Read the full story on Anderson Cooper's blog AC360
One Friday evening she updated her Facebook status that she and her boyfriend would be going to see a concert and came home to find that her home had been broken into and items, including a plasma TV stolen. She was able to identify one of the two men caught on camera after she posted photos from the footage on her Facebook page and some of her friends identified him as someone who she knew since she was seven!
THE BURGLARY CAUGHT ON SECURITY CAMERA
How often can we say it? Facebook is a social site to connect with new people who share similar interests etc and reconnect with friends you may have lost touch with. It is NOT a diary for blow by blow, minute by minute, moment by moment details of your life. You can experience things without sharing them on Facebook! I know it's said: sharing is caring, but this is one instance when it is perfectly ok to care less or not to care at all!
People who are part of your social network do not need to know all the intimate details of your life. If you are going away for the week-end, we don't need to take the journey with you from "Headed out the door now" to "Stopped at Mac Kee Dees for food" to "OMG! a flat tyre! or "A deer ran across the road!" to "Arrived safe, just in time for dinner" replete with photos of the said dinner!!! My Goodness! In the wrong hands, technology is a bad thing!
When you 'over-share' you not only place yourself at risk, but your family and close friends too who might be involved in the shared activities. This also goes for sharing of photographs. Be careful of the details in photographs you upload, especially in relation to minors. So avoid uploading photos of your children or younger relatives in school uniform especially where the school crest is clearly visible or photos taken at the school gate with the school sign clearly discernible. People with high profile statuses and jobs need to be extra careful.
When you over share, you also run the risk of annoying and alienating your Facebook friends.TMI! If you are upset with your boss, your mother, your best friend or your spouse; avoid venting on Facebook! Seriously! Your Facebook friends are not shrinks pretending they didn't study psychology. Go talk over the issue with the person who you are upset with or just keep it to yourself! But for heavens sake, step away from the status box, no matter how tempted you are to SHARE! aka VENT! I hate these random vents passing for status updates spewing venom at some unnamed person. It causes unnecessary tension between you and your Facebook friends as half the time they have no clue what you are on about and some people might actually think you are referring to them even if you are not!
As a police officer in the CNN video warns: "You don't know who is looking on your information on Facebook. It's really not private if it's on Facebook, you're posting it for everyone!" One Internet security officer also told CNN: "Updating your status on any social networking site before you go out or on vacation is like leaving a key behind for the burglars!"
And to that I add: when you are going off to bed, there is really no need to announce it to all online, just step away from the computer and go get some Zzzzzzzs. And for heaven's sake! Don't post a photo of you 'asleep' in bed! Taken by you! LOL When I see those photos, it's a *SMH* moment. OUT ((LOUD!)) is saying there are times when you DON'T need to say it OUT ((LOUD!)) !! So .. Ssshhhhh!! be quiet already!LOL
Please! Facebook Responsibly. Don't annoy your friends and BE SAFE.
To leave a comment: Type your comment in the box then either choose Anonymous as a last resort, (That's the simplest way but I won't know who left the comment) or if you have a Gmail A/c, chose "GOOGLE" from the menu option under "profiles" then press send & that should do it. BEST OF LUCK! :)