It's spring break time and that can spell trouble for those who widely advertise their travel plans on Facebook, MySpace or other social networking sites, Attorney General Jack Conway warns.
Conway's warning follows a recent burglary believed to be prompted by a woman who posted on Facebook that she and her fianc were leaving home for the evening.
I have warned kids across Kentucky to think before they post and that same message applies to adults as well, said General Conway. This is an important reminder of the dangers that exist on the Internet and that the people you meet online arent always as they seem.
The victim reportedly believes the burglary suspect was among her more than 500 Facebook friends who received the message that she would be gone for the evening. General Conway says it is always important to consider whether someone could use the personal information you have posted against you.
What you post online can not only jeopardize your safety, it can jeopardize your employment, admission to a college or personal relationships with friends or family, said General Conway. The words and images you post on the Internet are reflective of you and may be available for years to come.
Investigators in General Conways Cybercrimes Unit caution that even posting something as simple as your birth date could be used by identity thieves, spammers or even stalkers.
Cyberpredators can easily use your birth date, address or even your interests or hobbies to find out additional information about you or to become an online friend. The less personal information you put on a social networking site, the better, said Bill Baker, an investigator/branch manager of the Attorney Generals Cybercrimes Unit.
Conway offers these tips:
Tips for Parents
• Be a friend to your child on social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.
• Ask to see their profile page to make sure it does not contain personal information that could compromise their safety.
• Monitor your childs online activities and keep kids out of chat rooms unless they are monitored.
• Keep the computer in a public area of the home such as a family room or kitchen.
• Warn your child to never meet in person someone they have met online.
Tips for Kids
• Protect your password and make sure you really know who someone is before you allow them to be an online friend.
• Put everything behind password protected walls, where only friends can see.
• Blur or morph your photos a bit so they wont be abused by cyberbullies or predators.
• Dont post anything your parents, principal or a predator couldnt see.
• Remember, what you post online stays onlineforever.
• Not everyone you meet online is who they say they are.