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The Social Age: A Brand New World of Security Stresses

You’ve heard it again and again over the last decade. You may have heard it from your parents, or maybe you tell your own children: don’t give away too much information over the Internet. As email revolutionized the way we communicate and as instant messaging sprouted up and replaced simple telephone calls, one truth remained. Now as those once ground-breaking technologies seem pretty unimpressive, we have also loosened up on our privacy. But you should never make information too easily accessible. Be it your name, your phone number, or your address. It seems that as technology has evolved we have become less skeptical about what we pass over the Internet and what we are willing to tell complete strangers. I still remember creating my very first email account. My parents warily warned me that it shouldn’t contain my last name. We’ve seen the horror stories on “To Catch A Predator.” Children can get themselves into dangerous situations just by giving simple shreds of information like where they go to school, what grade they’re in and their first name.

Any parent with a curious kid and high speed Internet deals with daily safety concerns. Many people utilize fake, but convincing profiles to victimize children and with as little information as their first name, age and school, they will know where your child is between 8:00AM and 3:00PM every single day of the week. With only those three pieces of information, they can even find out where you live. It’s an extreme case, as is identity fraud, but no one can argue that it doesn’t happen.

There’s a new reason to be weary of sharing too much on the web. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and countless other social media sites have proven that social media is here to stay. It’s never been easier to make hundreds of friends effortlessly, whether they’re from around the block or around the globe. It’s also never been easier to keep track of everyone so flawlessly. Photo sharing, status updates and detailed posts (public posts, might I add) has transformed a simple social site infrastructure into an informational gold mine. What some call “pointless chatter,” others call an opportunity.

The recent economic downturn our country has faced and continues to face, and not so eloquently I might add, has caused a lot of unruliness. Unemployment rates are ever-climbing, as much as 15% in some cities, and where there’s unemployment there is a lot of hungry mouths. It’s not right but it’s a fact, crime increases as the economy declines. An innocent tweet or status update could just be your way of having fun, or your obnoxious attempt at bragging that you’re going to Tahiti for two weeks and your friends aren’t. Either way, it’s more dangerous than you think. It turns out that social media sensations like Facebook and Twitter are not only a concern when it comes to identity theft, but they’re also a huge home security nightmare.

If you do a Google search for “Twitter and burglary” you can find dozens of stories that go a little something like this: TwitterUser tweeted that he’s going out of town (finally!), but when he gets home he realizes that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to tell the world that his home would be vacant for the next few days. His home had been broken into and thousands of dollars of damages were incurred. One only wonders what his insurance company thought about that. It may be tempting, but don’t post revealing messages about your whereabouts, it’s a burglar’s (or stalker’s) dream. If you really want to invoke mass jealousy over your awesome tan just post pictures when you get back. After all, no one envies the victim of burglary.

As technology evolves dangers increase, but it’s also easier to stay safer. More families are investing in their safety than ever before. As crime rates soar and technology advances, people are making home security and personal safety their business. ADT home security has made it their business for 131 years and currently helps keep more than 7 million homeowners and business owners safer, protecting their homes and businesses, as well as what’s really matters, what and who is inside. This industry-leader provides unrivaled 24/7 monitoring utilizing advanced technology and quality, dependable service. So even if you let it slip out of sheer excitement that you’re going to be out of reach for awhile, and even if that information gets into the wrong hands, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from professional 24/7 home security monitoring.

Be safe out there.

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