Nowadays the internet allows us to reach every corner of the globe without even leaving our front room, so if you can explore the streets of Rio whilst sat in a coffee shop in Canterbury, what is stopping a burglar from finding the dodgy lock on your bedroom window all in the comfort of their own home?
‘you aren’t even aware of the extent of information you are giving away’
Social media has opened our lives to the public eye and you can never guarantee who will or won’t see your posts, making it important to keep your privacy as secure as possible, especially when you aren’t even aware of the extent of information you are giving away. That is why Smart promotes the top ten tips to internet security in an era of tech savvy opportunists…
1) Your social media accounts should be set to private so only those you choose can view your page. Set your Facebook posts to ‘friends only’ and make your Instagram page a ‘request to follow’ account. If your page and posts are public you are allowing anyone to share, view and use your information in any way they choose.
2) Make sure your images don’t show ways to access the home or have anything in the background people can use. For example, if you take a picture in front of the window, a burglar can see what locks are used and practice how to open them, or see if the window ledge is clear and less likely to cause a disturbance on entrance.
3) Tell people where you’ve been when you’re back, not before you go. A burglar can find out when you’ll be out the house if you are sharing pictures from abroad or clicked attending to a public event. Even if your account is private, everyone is guilty of telling people about the friend of a friend from down the road, so be careful who you tell and if you do tell someone make sure it’s someone who can keep an eye on your property whilst you’re away.
4) Make sure your birthday is hidden. The people that matter will remember and if they don’t, guilt ridden presents are always much better. If people can see you’ve had a special occasion, such as a birthday, christening or wedding, then they know you currently have a house full of gifts.
5) Thank you means more in person. When you receive a gift do not brag about it on social media, instead thank the person who gifted you with a personal message or tell them to their face. If you put it online people will know that there is a valuable gift in your home worth taking. They will also know who is able to afford expensive gifts which could make them a good target for a burglary.
6) Don’t expose anyone’s vulnerabilities or routine. This might seem like a simple task, but wishing your auntie well in her operation next week or making fun of your friends’ midday nap reveals just the right amount of information a burglar needs to plan when is best to enter the home.
7) Make your passwords hard to crack. Avoid repetition by making a unique password for each of your important accounts using a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. It’s important to make sure they cannot be worked out using your personal information, so avoid common words or birthdays. Most importantly, keep them secure and don’t tell anybody even a character.
8) Do not save account information on any of your devices. If your laptop, tablet or phone is stolen and you have saved your passwords then the thief can access your online accounts that contain personal information including bank accounts, emails and social media.
9) Be careful where you are logging in. Public devices like library computers or Apple store iPads can be hacked to store passwords and key pads could be traced to pick up what you are typing as your password. Make sure you are on a secure device that cannot be accessed by other people.
10) Just be Smart! All it takes is for your post to be shared once and then it’s no longer yours to protect; it’s now weaved into the World Wide Web. Before you write a post online, stop and think to yourself if you would want a stranger from another town knowing. If not, don’t put it out there for them to find.
For more advice on a Smart outlook to your security, visit our website where you can let us know what you’d like to learn about in the next blog – now that is Smart.