I’ll admit, sometimes I feel like a crusty old curmudgeon, even though I’m only in my 40’s. People today seem like they need to share every…single…detail of their lives with the entire planet. See, the problem with oversharing isn’t just that it is extremely annoying to many of us, it is also putting you and your family at risk for some pretty serious situations.
When you post how you’re getting ready for your trip to the Bahamas, we all know you’re just wanting to make everyone else jealous. We get that, really. But, you’re also telling people you won’t be home for a week or so. That’s an open invite for ne’er do wells to pay your home a visit. Same thing goes when you post pics from your trip in real time.
Posting pics from the art class you’re taking? Do it often enough and it becomes rather easy to predict exactly where you will be on Wednesday nights from 6:30PM-8:00PM. Could be the bad guy isn’t interested in what you have in your home but would much prefer getting to know you up close and personal.
One of the more popular online activities is buying and selling on various rummage sale oriented sites and groups. Be careful with those, particularly if you’re posting pics of items you have for sale. Pay attention to what is visible in the background of the picture. Avoid showing things like big TVs and other electronics as those can be very tempting to criminals. They could make arrangements to buy the diaper pail you’re selling just to find out your address, then come back later for the TV.
Here’s a really scary one. The pictures you take with your snazzy smartphone are often embedded with GPS coordinates. With the right software, a picture downloaded from your Facebook profile page could lead someone right to your door, even if you’ve never posted your address anywhere online.
Something else worth considering – anything you post online is conceivably there forever. Even if you later delete it from your Instagram or whatever, it is possibly still on a server somewhere and could be there for all time. Think twice before posting that pic.
Oversharing isn’t limited to the cyber world, either. Those cute signs parents put in their yards, the ones that tell one and all how proud they are of their son, #57 on the football team? Yeah, that just tells people that during football season, no one is probably home on Friday nights.
Bumper stickers can be the worst offenders. The stick figure families? Many of them note the names of the kids, something child predators love to see. Couple that with the sticker that says, “I’m a proud parent of an honor student at XYZ Middle School” and they know who the kid is and where to find him or her. Lovely.
Take a good look at your social media accounts, your yard, and your vehicles. Are you oversharing?