Social Media And Vacation Can Be A Dangerous Mix If You Share Too Much Online

11:50 PM, May 23, 2012   |    comments
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  • 'Geotagging' Could Give Away More Than You Think
  • Greensboro, NC--Sharing where you are and what you're doing on social media sites can be an invitation to predators.

    "Can't wait to visit the parents up North." "Out of town for a long weekend with family." " Baseball all day with the kids." Have you ever put something like that out there on Facebook? If your answer is yes, you're not alone.

    "I would definitely post vacation photos and event photos," said Sandra Cannon.

    However, information like that tells people that you're away for a while, leaving the house unattended.

    Cannon admits that she'll think twice about posting that kind of information.

    "I mean I actually posted that I was going to Airlie Gardens in Wrightsville on Mother's Day weekend, I didn't think about that!" she said.

    An awakening for not only Cannon, but Regina McNeill too. McNeill shares pictures and information often about her three sons.

    "When I'm going on vacation, I'm always posting, 'we're at Myrtle Beach! Or, if we're going to the movies, 'we're at the movie theatre!" said McNeill.

    Sharing her life with her Facebook friends is a part of McNeill's routine, doing almost all of her updating from her phone.

    But Greensboro Police Detective Jeff Flinchum warns against putting all your information out on social networking sites.

    As a rule of thumb, Flinchum said, "Don't post you're going out of town for the weekend, you know, if it's important for your friends to know that, call and tell them."

    Flinchum also told News 2 that often what you share on the internet gives stalkers or predators a whole new outlet of monitoring your whereabouts.

    In many cases, electronic tracking wouldn't violate a restraining order because that person is keeping their physical distance, while at the same time, still following you.

    Sometimes mobile photos actually have GPS embedded, providing the longitude and latitude coordinates of where that photo was taken, telling someone exactly where you are. To learn more about "geotracking" and how you can disable location settings on your phone, click on this story News 2 did last year: 'Geotagging' Could Give Away More Than You Think

    WFMY News 2, Greensboro Police Department

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