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Don't spill the beans about empty house on Facebook or Twitter

Updated on October 15, 2009

You are not sending private messages.........

      "Miss my hubby, can't wait until he return from business trip" or "Hooray, we have just arrived in sunny Florida, so glad to get away from home." Many people have a habit of putting sentences such as these as their status on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Myspace.  Although it is exciting and your friends want to know the details of your life, please be wary.  The internet is a dangerous place.  We educate our children on the dangers of predators who may be lying to them in chat rooms, but we forget about danger when it comes ourselves. 

     My husband has had to travel to attend and work events in his profession.  Many people would consider what he does rather exciting.  The places and people he is in contact with would interest alot of his and my facebook friends.  However, we have opted to keep that off of the internet.  There are several reasons we have selected to follow this plan. 

1) Most of the time when he goes on a business trip, the children and I are left home in our house to carry on with our usual routine of school, work, soccer, basketball, therapy for my oldest son, homework, Boy Scouts, playdates and whatever else comes up that week.  So WHY would he want to ADVERTISE that his wife and children are without him for the week?

2)  Many of his facebook friends work in the same industry as him and already know where he is going, chances are they may be going to the same place.  So it doesn't matter to them.

3) We don't see the need to advertise tempation.  We usually try not to tell people when we are going away unless we have someone to housesit.  Even then it might not be a good plan.; Letting people know that your house is empty is never a good plan, even your so called "friends".

4) Alot of your internet "friends" are really not your friends.  They are not people that you spend time with off the computer.  They are not the people you trust with your home and children.  Why would you trust them with the fact that your home is empty and vulnerable?

5) Often bosses are watching the internet to check how much time an employee is spending posting online about the event they are working.  If there are 150 photos uploaded from the event at a time when you should be working, it may not fare well for you when you return from the trip.  You are not there as a tourist, you are working.  Even uploading when you come home might be a problem because WHEN did you have all this down time to take so many pictures?

     In the beginning, when we first opened our Facebook accounts, we were tempted to post everything.  It was fun and exciting to us to share so much.  But as you live, you should be learning.  Think before you post.  What you say, CAN and WILL be used against you when you put it on the internet, remember that.   Someone forcing entry into a woman's house because he knows that her husband is out of the country due to a status posting is a serious issue.  We must use our heads and use the social networking tool wisely.

     In addition to vigilance about your status, be careful with what type of pictures you post.  If you do not want something to be remembered, keep it off the internet.  If you are worried about your children's images being used by others, do not post them.  Always keep your privacy settings high and check on your account whenever possible.  You have the control.  You are the person who decides what the rest of the world gets to know and what they can see.

     The internet is wonderful.  With one click we have assess to information.  We can get directions, find the answers to impossible questions, find a lost relative, talk to an old classmate.  We can reach out to our child's teachers. we can play games, we can do our shopping.  But we can also get hurt.  Do not forget that and please edit your responses and posts before you hit enter.




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