While this short YouTube video is in the format of a fairytale remake, I know a lot of adults that need to watch it. The video demostrates the importance of choosing your friends wisely - on Facebook.
What the video does not mention is that much of what you put on Facebook about your family's security is visible not just to your friends, but often to their "friends" and maybe even to the public in general. For example, in my case, because I use my Facebook account for re-connecting with people from several parts of my life, I've adjusted my Privac Settings (click HERE while signed-in to Facebook to view yours), to be visible to "friends of friends," so that they can find me through mutual acquaintences. I also like to be available to potential clients, most of whom are referred to me by current contacts.
This is something I need to be aware of before posting anything that has to do with my plans to be (for example) away from home for a period of time, or private information about my family, etc. With these particular settings, I'm very careful not to ever display licence plate numbers, for example, in my photos, or clues to my exact address, etc.. Also with these settings, I would never recommend posting photos of young children or even current household pets (especially expensive ones) along with their names. This just makes it too easy for predators.
In short, always remember before posting anything online that your intended audience may not be the only ones viewing your post. Ask yourself if this is something that a thief or someone who wishes to harm you in some way could use. If so, don't post it online.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.