Playing it safe on social media

Users should exercise caution in how much information they divulge while on vacation.

SIESTA KEY - French police partly blame the weekend break-in of Kim Kardashian’s Paris apartment and subsequent theft of $10 million in jewelry on her social media postings that day detailing her every move.

So how much information online is too much, and at what point does it become dangerous?

“Use caution, be careful what you put out there,” said Lt. David Scott of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Yet when you are on vacation it may be hard to hold back. Suzanne Murphy is vacationing on Siesta Key from Arizona, and within minutes she posted her beach photos on Facebook.

Murphy said, “You want everybody to see you are having a good time and the weather is beautiful.”

Murphy tagged her friends "the Muellers" and now she’s shared her photos and information with all their friends

Suzanne says she doesn’t post often, and her list of friends are limited so she’s not too worried. But Mariana Ganim from Maryland says you can’t be too careful on social media.

“No, not posting the picture. It’s for us to enjoy,” said Ganim after she and her husband took a photo on the Siesta beach.

“I think there’s too much information for everyone to see,” added Matthew, Mariana’s husband.

Mariana says she and her girlfriends have also talked about what they post on social media. She said, “You should not tell people what you are doing. It leaves a door open (at home) for those who really are watching.”

“Don’t post while you are at the airport or out of town,” advised Lt. Scott.

The Sheriff’s deputy said social media is a window into our lives, so be careful when you open it.

“You never really know who’s on the other end of the computer - a sexual predator or somebody passing themselves off as somebody else,” said Scott.

It’s a message especially for young people, many of whom like to share their every move.

Gregory Eberhardt, 17, says he’s frequently on Facebook and Instagram. He said, “I’m on social media most of the day.”

What does he share? “Pretty much what I’m doing at the time; out with friends, running track, getting food, posting about that,” said the Riverview High student.

Teens say social media keeps them connected with each other.

Eberhardt added, “Everyone follows everyone on Instagram. If people see you doing the same stuff you can maybe make new friends.”

But Lt. Scott said before posting remember this, “Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever.”

Deputy Scott recommends you check your settings on your social media applications, from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat. He says to make all social media accounts private, and shut off your GPS locator, which could otherwise give away your location when updating your status. The location information is even embedded in your photographs as well.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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