Minnesota, USA -November 1, 2011 - According to news reports, 80% of burglars -former burglars - indicate that many use social networks as a tip tool. When you give an update to share with friends, acquaintances, and other followers, you tend to forget that it helps others track you. What's the big deal It gives thieves hints on when to hit up your house or clues on what to expect after arriving to your home -perhaps you have a vicious dog that they would want to avoid. If they know you are out of town on vacation, there is no hurry or worry; thieves can take everything and no one would suspect a thing until returning home. Social networks can be fun, but be cautious on who can view your information and what information you put out.However, I am not indicating that you must empty out your friends' list or followers' list. In fact, it is easy enough to leave the 'location' information out of your posts for a while if you are too far away from home or if you will be gone for more than half an hour. It may come as a surprise to your friends when you post 'vacation photos' after returning home, but you can always find another way to give out this information to your closest friends -let them know now to post anything about 'vacation' because you likely will not see it when you're busy. Just do not give the 'key' to thieves on when to take all of your things.
For those who want others to know where they have 'been', it is always an option to put the location after returning home. Then again, it could potentially put you in physical danger if anyone is picking up on the clues from social network activity. If you want friends to know about a restaurant or place, it may be beneficial to write a review of the place and indicate that you recently ate there or experienced its services.
Another option is to filter your posts by indicating who 'can' or 'cannot' see it; not many people let the 'public' view content anymore, but you may discover that by default it is. Do not make the mistake of unknowingly giving out information to those who you do not trust; we have tight circles who we can easily share this information but we do not know everyone on our lists enough to know if he or she could have a part-time job as a burglar.