Parsons police warn residents to use social media wisely - KOAM TV 7

Parsons police warn residents to use social media wisely



PARSONS, KS — In less than 10 minutesyour home could be a target for would-be criminals. The Parsons PoliceDepartment is issuing a reminder to residents that what you say online can makeyou a crime target.

"Burglarsare getting smarter with advancements in technology. They are analyzing what'sgoing on," said Parsons Police Chief, Scott Gofourth. "How many times have youseen someone post something on Facebook or Twitter about being on vacation?"

Thinkabout it, it's like opening the front door and inviting them into your home.Burglars who watch online chats can see people's status updates, photos of youon vacation (many smart phones include your location upon posting). You areletting them know you are not home.

Similarissues arise with the use of Twitter, Instagram, 4Square and Facebook - whereusers check-in to different locations upon arrival.

ChiefGofourth offers the following tips to avoid being a target:

    • Think before you post.  Before you post anything online–blogs, comments, tweets, snapshots, links–consider two things: it may ultimately be seen by anyone on the Internet and it can be permanent.
    • Don't over share. Don't post anything you'd ordinarily say only to a close friend. Some sites let you create separate friend lists–for family, for your sports team, and so on–so you can manage what you share with each.
    • Keep details to yourself that could be used to identify you or locate you in person–your home address, phone and account numbers, birth date, photos, etc.
    • Use caution when sharing feelings. Whether you're happy, sad, angry, or have money worries, confiding broadly could put you at increased risk.
    • Talk with family and friends about what you might share about them. Remove from your pages any info that doesn't conform to their wishes.
    • Talk to your kids about responsible use of social media. Talk about developing a family social media compact. Explain the hazards of posting "too much" information and talk about identity theft risks.

It's always good tohave someone checking-in on your property while you are gone. Don't forgetthings like notifying the postal service to hold your mail, and the same withyour newspaper. Play it smart using these simple tips, and you'll be lesslikely to become a target.


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