WOULD YOU GO INTO YOUR LOCAL PUB, CLUB, OR SHOP AND TELL STRANGERS THE FOLLOWING?
My house is full of expensive luxury items, look at these pictures of my new 80" wrap-around television, my expensive computers and music system, and the expensive watches and jewellery I have bought. Look at my brand-new fifty-thousand-pound car in my driveway. I am doing so well I always have plenty of money on me, and I am always taking holidays, in fact, I am going away next week for three weeks in the Bahamas!.
NO, OF COURSE YOU WOULDN'T!
Because you do not know the person, they may be a crook, and while you are telling them how well you are doing in life, they are thinking how well they will be doing next week after they break into your home and steal all these nice shiny things.
BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
The arrival of the internet, especially the evolution of Social Media, changed the way we communicate with those we know.
Before the Internet we communicated in a more personal manner, in person, by using a telephone, or by writing a letter. When on holiday we may have sent a postcard showing them where we were.
We talked far less frequently, , we kept the communication to basic facts, we did not show off our possessions until they visited us in person, mainly due to the costs of calls and photography etc.
But with the arrival of Social Media, it seems we now communicate with our family and friends on a daily, sometimes even hourly basis. Due to now almost free digital photography via our mobile phones, we share everything almost as it happens, our new hairstyle, what we are eating, who we are with.
We tell them when we are going on holiday, when we are returning, and who is going to be with us. And we confirm this by displaying photographs of us enjoying ourselves.
It is not just holidays we share, we share an whole calendar of our actions and proposed events. We share a complete timetable of our daily actions. When and where we are going shopping, when we are having our hair done and the time of our appointment, what time we are at the Gym or swimming. When we are going to see our favourite band or going to a concert. We even put up photographs of us currently meeting with friends at a restaurant or pub.
Not only are you giving them the go ahead by telling them exactly when you are not at home, but you are also sharing with them what they can expect to come out with!
Insurance companies always try to find an excuse not to pay out following a theft. Many now explore your Social Media Presence to find out if you have publicly revealed any of this information, then they can blame it on you and refuse to pay!
Nearly all members of our family and friends are now online and using social media such as Facebook, Our children do not know any better and share everything to their friends, and our family and friends maybe unaware of the dangers, unwittingly posting information about you for all to see.
WE ALL NEED TO BECOME FAR MORE AWARE OF THESE DANGERS, AND TO ENSURE WE THINK HARD ABOUT WHAT WE ARE SHARING ONLINE!
Unfortunately we hear far too often on the news of abductions, rape, even murder.
These crimes are usually opportunistic and instantaneous, by the victim being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but some are planned in advance.
DONT MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEM!
STOP showing off your new outfit and hairdo and identifying yourself!
STOP showing pictures of your car and its registration!
STOP giving the location of where you are going!
STOP advertising your travel times and how you are getting there!
STOP telling them when and where you will be alone!
If you use online Dating Apps on your phone or your computer, then Play Safe!
NEVER use your real name.
NEVER give your exact location.
NEVER use a clear recent photograph as your profile pic.
Use a pseudonym, never use your real name, become "Sunshine Sally", or "Nitty Nora", you can always tell them the real name later if things progress.
For location NEVER tell them where you live, give a town nearby that will show an approximate area and distance.
NEVER use your normal email address, create a new disposable one, something only used for this purpose and not for contact with your family and friends and used to find you.
With today's ability to cross check photographs using 'Reverse Image Searches', it is easy to find out your real details using things like FaceBook. If possible use a non-descriptive photo or even a cartoon image.
KEEP ONLINE DATING LIFE SEPERATE FROM YOUR REAL LIFE!
And if meeting someone new, meet for the first few times in a busy populated space such as a café or pub. Let your family and friends know all the details, including the name/usernames and profile links to the person you meet.
Visit our Female Safety pages for women.