Read this before you post your site on social media

A social media post shows a celebrity wearing expensive jewelry at a well-known location. Shortly thereafter, a gunman stormed the venue to forcibly relieve the aforementioned celebrity.

It’s a story we’ve heard many times over the years, most recently regarding the fatal shooting of rapper PnB Rock on Monday at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles in south Los Angeles. Authorities say incidents are rare, but they are a dramatic reminder that sharing information about you online can put you at risk.

We don’t know if PnB Rock (real name: Rakim Allen) was traced to Roscoe via social media; We only know that the attack happened a few minutes after his girlfriend posted a post on Instagram revealing that they were in the restaurant. But the criminals involved in some of the previous high-profile attacks, such as the attack on Kim Kardashian West in Paris six years ago, have admitted that, in fact, they are looking at their potential victims’ social media posts for information about what they have and where they are.

Considering that billions of people post a huge amount of material on social networks every day, your chances are low that your Instagram photos and TikTok videos will catch the attention of seasoned thieves on the Internet. Celebrities in the entertainment industry, professional athletes and successful influencers Not Like us, at least not in that regard.

However, there are other reasons to be careful about what you say and display about yourself online. Safety experts say there are privacy rules everyone should follow when posting on social media; Here are their suggestions.

Decide who can see your posts

Social media apps let you decide who can see and interact with your uploads. By default, though, some apps make your posts visible to every sensitive object and bot on the Internet.

As tempting as it may be to share with the public at large – this is how you get more followers! – A more careful approach is to share your cool photos and beautifully composed photos privately with people in your chosen social circle. Follow these links to learn how to get privacy on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

On Facebook, you can modify your settings by turning on the network’s easy-to-use privacy check. The visibility of your LinkedIn profile and various elements of it can be modified here. Meanwhile, Snapchat posts are by default restricted to your friends on the network.

And if you leave your posts open to the general public, you should at least familiarize yourself with the tools of the application to weed out certain users or topics, in case you attract some followers or have some conversations that you never wish you had. The National Network of Rape, Abuse and Incest provides a helpful guide to the filtering and blocking tools provided by Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Do not share your location in real time

This is a bit tricky because some social apps, like Instagram, can automatically tag your posts with your location unless you change the settings on your phone to cut off the app’s access to location data. For others, like Facebook, you have to choose to reveal your location when writing a post – in the case of Facebook, by clicking the “Login” icon below the text field.

For most people, the threat is not to lure a gang of luxury watch thieves to your table at Tony Beverly Hills. It’s more of an opportunity to let thieves know that you won’t be home for a while or to stay away from a stalker.

Don’t worry, you can still show off all the great places you parked your Honda in front of. “If sharing where you are is important to you, consider waiting to be flagged at the site until you leave,” the National Rape, Abuse, and Incest Network advised.

It’s almost without saying, but if those posts appear to you in an amazing or trendy place away from where you live, waiting to be flagged until you leave means waiting to be flagged Until you come home.

Even if you decide not to share your phone’s location data with your app, social networks will use other means to locate you – thus potentially monetizing that data through targeted advertising. Under California law, you can tell online businesses not to sell sensitive personal data like location information to third parties, but you can’t prevent them from using the information themselves.

Remember that keeping your location away from your social media posts will not prevent the people you hang out with from revealing it in their posts. To some extent, your privacy is at the mercy of the happiest person in your circle. When you go out with a group, try to reach a consensus in advance about whether and when you want to disclose your location.

Beware of identity thieves

You may have been warned to only release your Social Security number on a need-to-know basis (and if you haven’t, consider that first warning). But there are other pieces of personal information that you may freely share that could help someone impersonate you.

These are not just basic information like your address and phone number, but also nuggets of your personal history. Think of it this way: What questions do websites ask to verify your identity when you lose your account password? It’s a familiar accusation – what’s your pet’s name? Where did you go to school? What is your mother’s maiden name? And if you are indifferent, you can provide all the answers in your posts.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Information Technology warned that personal information should be kept private. “The more information you publish, the easier it is for someone to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes like stalking.”

Be smart about passwords

Along the same lines, make it difficult for people to hijack your social media accounts. Use a password manager app to create (and remember!) ridiculously strong passwords, then change your passwords periodically.

Without a strong password, hackers might be able to guess their way into your account. Most likely, though, they’ll use the magic of social engineering to convince you to reveal your password to them — usually, by pretending to be a colleague, tech support person or other seemingly legitimate authority figure.

So be aware of how to quickly identify phishing and phishing attacks. Meanwhile, don’t respond when someone asks for your password online.

Report bad actors

Blocking someone who is bothering you may seem satisfying and problem-solving, but it can simply turn your problem into someone else’s nightmare. Make a record of suspicious or inappropriate behavior in your feed with screenshots (here’s how to do it on an iPhone, here’s how on an Android phone), and report the person to the social network.

You will find a link to report or flag a post within the post or comment itself. For example, on Instagram, you will need to click on the three-dot icon, and then click on the report link. The social network will then determine whether the person has violated any of its rules, and if so, whether that account should be suspended or removed.

About the Times Utility Press Team

This article is from the Times’ companion press team. Our mission is to be essential to the lives of Southern Californians by publishing information that solves problems, answers questions and aids decision-making. We serve audiences in and around Los Angeles – including current Times subscribers and diverse communities whose needs have not been historically met through our coverage.

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