Home Security and Facebook

Can home security start with Facebook? With almost 500+ million users, Facebook (whether we like it or not) has become a huge part of people’s lives. Even I find myself on Facebook, updating my profile and checking up on what my friends are up to. Connecting with other people has never been easier. Live status updates, tagged pictures, recent activity, etc. let’s anyone and everyone know what is going on with your life. Thus, in order to promote home security and safety, we must watch what we post on Facebook.

Facebook’s recent development of allowing creators of applications access to contact information of users who install the developer’s apps has been questioned by many security experts. This contact information includes your address and mobile number. Graham Cluley, Sophos security expert, says “It won’t take long for scammers to take advantage of this new facility, to use for their own criminal ends.” Although Facebook claims that these apps can only have access to your information if you allow them to do so, it can be hard to distinguish from safe apps and spam apps because there are just too many. An alarm system may prevent intruders from breaking and entering your home, but what’s to stop “shady app developers” from SMS spamming or providing this information to telemarketing companies.

However, the problem does not end there with massive spamming. Fraud and burglars are also in issue when you are posting personal information about yourself along with your home address and cell phone number. Think about how welcoming you sound to a burglar when you post this status on Facebook: “Out of the country for the month…” It is almost as if you are inviting someone to enter your house while you are gone. Or, if you are posting that you are currently somewhere other than your home? Do not let other people know that your home is not occupied. This type of information should not be available for the general public or at least kept to a minimal.

The general information about yourself that is posted on your Facebook can also be troublesome. Credit card companies and banks ask security questions such as where you were born, what high school you went to, your birthday, etc. and these can easily be found in the info section of your profile. These facts are valuable – fraudsters can pick up all these little pieces of information and quickly put them together which puts you and your family at risk. Fortunately, Facebook has privacy settings to hide these facts about you for nobody to see but yourself. If you have not done so already, edit your settings and prevent your profile from becoming vulnerable.

The message here is simple: Do not post personal information on Facebook or any other social media outlets. Consider what type of updates you are putting up on Facebook or Twitter. These sites create fun social networks that connect friends and businesses but social media safety should be the top priority and private information should be kept on the down low.