Like many people, you might not pay much attention to your Facebook privacy settings. What can Friends see? What can the public see? Should I adjust who can see each and every post? Unfortunately, we live in a world where our well-intentioned Facebook posts can be used against us by tech-savvy thieves looking for an opportunity to cash in on our naivete.
While you may think that your personal information is safe from prying eyes, online access to public records gives thieves direct insight into your personal life. For example, the Riverside County Clerk’s Office allows anyone to search public records for deeds in your name for a small fee. Once armed with your name and address, a good thief can start to watch your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Pinterest posts to see where you and your family are at any given moment.
Perhaps you don’t post a lot of updates online. Your spouse or your children could be updating location information along with photos and written posts indicating where you are and how long you’ll be away from the house. With just a few clicks and a couple of easy assumptions, anyone can guess the names of your family from your public Friend list.
Your privacy settings for your online profiles are critically important for keeping your personal information from being used against you. Take a few minutes and look at your account from the perspective of a stranger. How much can they guess about your life, work, and family? A comprehensive, personal security plan requires that you take your online security as serious as your physical security. If you lock your front door when no one is home, then why are you leaving the front door to your digital life wide open?