As we all know, Kim Kardashian was robbed of over $10 million worth of jewelry this weekend in Paris. This unfortunate circumstance highlighted the Kardashian family’s concerns over how social media plays into security and safety. But celebrities aren’t the only ones who should be worried.
If you know the right search terms, you can find out very key details about the average American millennial in a couple of hours. Facebook pages, job history, daily routine…. Between Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and the internet trail that our activity leaves, it is very easy for anyone and everyone to find details of your life with a few clicks. Even a private profile or privacy settings doesn’t keep your information safe. I’ll never forget in high school someone once stole my photos from my MySpace account and made up a fake profile pretending to be me or the time a random AIM screen name kept sending me threatening messages to the point that I was home alone with a knife at my side. Obviously all of that did not escalate to a serious situation, but it’s still enough to rock your sense of security that I’m still remembering it 10 years later. I can’t imagine what it’s like now with every single aspect of your life available on Google or Snapchat.
Camera screens are the newest wave of privacy invasion. There’s all sorts of scary stories of baby monitors being hacked. Even Mark Zuckerberg tapes over his built-in camera screen. If he does it, then I’m for sure doing it too.
Paranoia aside, there’s definitely a few things you can do to keep yourself safer online:
- Never post a photo of your house online. This includes your address (yes, even on a Facebook event invite).
- Avoid sharing your routine – Do you snap your entire day, including geotags? If you’re sharing what you do every day, it could be easy for users to predict your behaviors.
- Don’t post in the moment. Travels, geofilters and tags can give away what you’re doing right when you’re doing it. By delaying posts, you’re still able to share in the moment, but not disclosing that you’re not at home or telling the world exactly where and when someone could find you.
Internet and social media privacy are not things that we like to be reminded of, and of course, Kim’s situation is not one that most of us will face (I personally do not have 10 million of anything except stretched out hair ties). But, with more crazy people in the world and more information available than ever before, security is something we all need to think about.