Location, Location, Location

I have done posts on this before, but it is worth the reminder.  It is the time of year when people travel near and far to visit with loved ones to celebrate the holidays.  Unfortunately, it is also the time of year when people take advantage of others for their own gain.

Facebook and I have a love-hate relationship going on.  I love being able to keep up with my friends who lead lives as busy as my own.  I love seeing pictures of kids growing up far away, and I actually love seeing vacation pictures and living vicariously.  I hate the fact that Facebook settings seem to change at random – Facebook will make a change that impacts a setting, or they just seem to sporadically change on their own.

That is why it is important to monitor your setting.  The big one for me is location.  I don’t want anyone to know where I am throughout my day.  Anyone who needs to know is likely right there with me, and frankly, my other friends probably couldn’t care less.  However, this is one setting that has changed on me without my intervention at least once!

It is important to know that Facebook settings vary between the Facebook app that you have on a mobile device (and for each device) and the Facebook web-based connection.  If you connect to Facebook via a browser, the settings are the same, regardless of which browser or physical device.  You need to configure the settings within each mobile app on each device.  I have an iPhone, so I also ensure that my location settings are locked down in the phone’s device settings, and have it set so that I have to enter a password before they can be changed.

If your kids are on social media, especially apps like Instagram and Twitter that are open to the world, stress how important it is to keep location information private.  There are people who are watching for vulnerable teens and tweens and will utilize that information.

I also recommend having a few friends who look out for each other.  If your friend’s posts are typically to friends only, and suddenly they are public, tell him!  If your friend doesn’t share his every move, and suddenly you see the location (especially if he is obviously out-of-town) let him know.  Worst case scenario he will tell you it’s fine.  However, if that was not intentional, you are doing him a favor.

Remember when you tell people where you are, you are also advertising where you are not.  You don’t always know who can see what you share, so it is best to only post things that you would be fine with both your mother and your children seeing (and repeating!).