When do you draw the line with what you share on Facebook? When do you know if you are sharing too much information on Twitter? After the tragic events that occurred in Arizona yesterday, the news mentioned that Republican Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had tweeted that morning: “My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now. Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later.” Authorities suspect that the shooter had seen this tweet and knew exactly where she would be and when. The biggest mistake one can make with social networking sites is giving out too much information about what you are doing and where you are going.
Precautions can be made on Facebook, it is important to just “friend” actual friends, not to connect with strangers you can’t trust. The problem with Twitter is that anyone can follow you, when you tweet “I’m at the bar, come see me” anyone who is following you (even strangers or stalkers) will know exactly where you are. It is also important to not post comments of when you are leaving town, my mom has a friend that had her house broken into when she was on vacation after posting on Facebook that she was leaving. The crime was committed by an old high school friend who she had accepted on Facebook but didn’t know that well. After this event I went through my Facebook friends and deleted anyone I had accepted that I didn’t really know that well or hadn’t connected with for a long time.
It is always important to be careful who you are connected with on social networking sites, but when this is out of your control you can always control what you post. Some precautions that could be made include: 1. Not accepting friend requests from strangers; 2. Not posting comments that give your exact location; and 3. Not posting comments that state you are leaving on vacation. If you have any additional suggestions on how one can protect themselves on social networking sites, or similar stories please share below.