The Dangers of Photos and GPS on Social Media

Put your hand up if you have found yourself becoming a shutter-bug. Be honest.

With the latest phones, many of us now have a high-resolution camera sitting in our back pockets (or in my case, the outside pocket of my purse). So, it’s not surprising that people have become trigger happy with their phone cameras. Add in the fact that smartphones have easy access to the internet, and those photos are now being showcased for the world to see.

Before you hit the share button, you might want to take a good look at that photo.

Make sure that any photos you post on any social media don’t show your house number or license plate number. If you provide that information, it won’t take much for thieves and other shady characters to get full details about your home address and place of work. This is information that the general public just doesn’t need.

Be careful of other items that might also be in the photo in the background. You might be taking a photo of your latest book (the version that just arrived in the post), but is there a box or envelope in the background with a visible address label?

In general, for your physical safety, it’s not a good idea to advertise your daily location on social media—people don’t need to know that information. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Things like book signings need to be made public, but if you are taking a box of books to the signing, remove the labels on the boxes. You have no idea who might be snooping around that box when you aren’t looking. There is no need to provide that snoopy bystander with your personal details.

I recommended you turn off the GPS check-in features within social media, but if you really feel the need to use them, do so on departure from a given location. There is no need to advertise on social media that you are out of town, and that your house and personal belongings are now ripe for the taking by thieves.

If you are in the process of moving house, don’t post GPS check-ins at any point during the move. It’s an invitation to some shady person to go to either address and get sticky-fingered with your possessions.

Be cautious of apps that demand to know your location. For things like your weather app, it might be desirable for them to have this information, but there is absolutely no need for Candy Crush to know this detail.

Regardless, as long as you are aware of the dangers associated with social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter are a great way to build those valuable connections.

This tip is one of the many tips found in Hidden Traps: A Writer’s Guide to Protecting Your Online Platform by Judy L Mohr.

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P.S. I’d love to meet you on Twitter or Facebook.

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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2017

Posted in Hidden Traps, Social Media, Warnings, Writer Platform and tagged , , .

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