I know, I know. This is something you have heard about a thousand times, right? Yet you still don’t really practice it. Yes, I am talking to you. You put your pictures of your children on facebook in a very public forum. “They are set to friends only”, you say. So you mean to tell me you know every single one of your several hundred friends? I didn’t think so. Those people you have picked up over time on facebook, you don’t know them. They may be gaming friends. They may be friends of friends. They may even be someone you have not spoke with in many, many years. So tell me now, how well do you really know these people?
The amount of personal information, pictures, and yes, your children’s pictures that goes on facebook is a nightmare. If your privacy settings are set to friends, friends of friends, or *gasp* public, you are inviting serious trouble. People have picked up real life, very scary, stalkers from facebook. We won’t even discuss the “places check-ins” and how absolutely unsafe those are. I’ve seen the following on people’s profiles:
home phone numbers
cell phone numbers
pictures of mail with home addresses (I mean really, WTF here?!?!)
I would never put my children’s pic in any type of a public setting, because I have no control over who sees them. There are pedophiles who creep the internet, AND facebook, looking for a child’s picture that peaks their interest. There have been children abducted by creepy people. There are teenagers who start chatting with strangers they think are their age, only to find out when they meet them in person what a terrible mistake they made.
There are also those status games people play. “Comment with the city and state you were born!” etc. Did you know, that along with the email address, the home address, relatives (where your mother’s maiden name is potentially displayed!) and all the other personal info, you have just given someone free access to steal your identity. It doesn’t take much. If someone knows what they’re doing, they could take a lot of this info and get in to your email. Stop and think about what potentially is in there. And how many places password resets can be requested from. Before you even knew what was happening, your identity can be stolen.
These are just a couple of examples off the top of my head. There are more scenarios that I could list but I think you get the just. Be careful of what you’re putting on the internet for your own safety as well as the safety of your families. <3