‘Did they steal your apartment keys as well?’ That was the first (!) question my boyfriend asked me , rather insensitively in my opinion, when he heard that I had all my stuff stolen from out of our car in Barcelona. I soon realized that he was thinking ahead, and that he had a point. After all, my bag was stolen as well, and with it my ID and address. Who was to say that the thieves would not take the opportunity to loot my flat as well after they hit the jackpot with our car?
‘Nope, I still have my key’. ‘Thank god!’.
The relief in his voice was tangible.
I don’t enjoy being the one to say ‘I told you so…’, but right now I just have to vent. What happened to Kim Kardashian this week… I think she had it coming for her for quite some time now.
If you share your entire life, show your flat, your belongings (and where they are stored), your travels and everything else with permanent live-updates on Snapchat, Instagram and all the others, you’re not only inviting your followers in, you’re also giving away so much crucial information to potential criminals. With all this info, planning theft is a piece of cake.
We often acknowledge only the positive sides of social media, are happy about all the followers we have, and forget to ask ourselves who all these people are. We just see numbers, not the individuals behind them.
We have little patience for our parents when they preach careful handling of our personal data, we think they’re exaggerating by setting their accounts to private, we don’t listen when they remind us of the potential dangers. But it is so crucial to inform this – our – careless generation about the risks. Theft is bad enough, but it can actually get so much worse than that.
Let’s look at it for a second:
with all her bodyguards and security precautions, Kim Kardashian became victim of a burglary. Where does that leave all of us who don’t have the means to protect ourselves?
Sure, a lot of crime is committed totally unrelated to social media, but it remains a fact that it has become so much easier for perpetrators to spy on their victims. It’s really tough to face it, and I do feel a bit like my mother writing these lines, remembering how she told me many years ago that I should never meet up with anyone I met in a chatroom in real life. But I do see it as my responsibility to raise awareness where I can. Who’s going to talk about it if not us bloggers?
As we all know, being careful is often easier said than done. In my line of work, being potentially too exposed is part of the professional risk. But there are ways to improve the personal security in that respect, and no one is forced to shoe EVERYTHING. Being transparent may show that you have nothing to hide, but it also means you’re showing potential vulnerabilities.
So, please be careful with what you share on social media, and tell your friends to post with caution as well. We don’t want Kim Kardashian’s drama in our lives, right? Here are some tips for you:
1. Delayed posting
This one’s not an option for Snapchat, where everything is live, but on Instagram and many other platforms it can make a lot of sense to post your photos a few hours or days after you’ve taken them.
2. Do not share your address
Be it at home or in a hotel, I do my very best to never share my address online.
3. Deactivate location sharing
Have a look at your settings tab! Many apps automatically share information you never intended to share. Make sure to double-check your permissions for each individual app.
4. Keep accounts private
This is not possible for a blogger, but for private accounts it’s up to you to decide who can follow you. This is not a fool-proof security measure by any means, but being selective with followers is actually one of the best things you can do to increase security in the transparent social media world.
5. Be vigilant!
This is a general rule: we should all be much more careful in how we handle our social media lives, and we should not brush off potential risks when posting something. Many of us are not always aware of the dangers, awareness is key and the first step to more security. Keep your eyes and ears open and think twice before you hit that ‘post’ button.
Thank you Patrick & Constant Evolution for taking these pictures!!