A study was done in 2011, which revealed that about 78% of burglars use social media as a way to choose their next target (McMillan, 2011). With most social media sites allowing users to check into locations, it makes it easier for burglars to determine whom to target next. As a result of most users not using privacy settings for their profiles, burglars are able to comb through their pictures and posts that discuss their vacation plans.
When it comes to your children’s photos– half of the material found on certain pedophilia websites has been sourced or stolen from parents innocently posting images of their families online, this is according to Australia’s new Children’s eSafety Commissioner. It may not always be your child’s body but they often use children’s faces.
An investigation by the BBC has found that secret groups on Facebook are being used by pedophiles to share images.
The BBC reportedly unearthed numerous private groups which were both run by and for men with a sexual interest in children. One group was found to have a convicted pedophile as its administrator.
The BBC went as far as setting up a fake profile of its own in order to gain access to the groups as part of the investigation:
In one secret group called “cute teen schoolies”, we found a picture of a girl in a school vest, aged 10 or 11, accompanied by the words “yum yum”.
Out of 20 images reported, just half of them were removed, some by Facebook, and some by the uploaders. Other images which featured children in “highly sexualized poses” were deemed not to breach Facebook’s community standards, and so remained in place — this in spite of the fact that the BBC found some material so disturbing that it contacted the police.
6 Tips for Social Media Posting While on Vacation
- Don’t post about your travels
- First your friends aren’t always your friends, also if your friends like the post others can see it
- Burglars now know you’ve just started your vacation and you’re preoccupied
- Again if you post hour by hour what you’re doing, you’re handing criminals a timeline
- Don’t post vacation photos while on vacation
- Similar to the posts– don’t post these while on your actual vacation
- Criminals can easily figure out where you are and when you took the photo
- Don’t post info about fellow travelers
- It’s bad enough if you let others know you’re away but now you’ve brought your friends and family into it.
- This works two ways—if you are traveling with others and they’ve tagged you in images and posts be sure to untag yourself right away
- Don’t tell people about what is happening on the home front side
- Don’t let people know that someone is house-sitting. Not only will you be putting your home in danger, but you are also putting that person’s life in danger.
- You sacrifice situational awareness
- When you’re in an unfamiliar area, especially crowded ones, it’s best to keep your head up and eyes open. Digging into your phone obviously hinders that. Someone could easily come up behind you.
- Be careful of posting pictures of your young kids
- Often there are people who will steal your children’s photos and upload them onto websites for pedophiles. Half of the material found on pedophilia websites has been sourced or stolen from parents innocently posting images of their families online, this is according to the Children’s eSafety Commissioner
- Stranger’s will also use this opportunity to learn your children’s likes, their name and other information and use it to message them later. It will make them seem more personable when trying to befriend your child.