Don’t Make Yourself A Target

Many social network sites make it too easy to overshare personal information.  An innocent post to Twitter or Facebook, or pictures uploaded to SnapChat or Instagram can help a criminal target you.  Online posts that identify your location, your travel and vacation plans, your employer, your home, and your personal possessions can be used by criminals to plan an crime.  Kidnapping for ransom, burglary, car theft, and robbery can be an outcome. This is an area where most of us could take minute to think and use a little more discretion.

  • Limit access to your social profiles to people you actually know and trust.  Do any of your Facebook friends have a criminal record?  Would you even know?
  • Avoid sharing your location, use less detail, or wait until you have left the location.  Resist the urge to share your vacation trip and photos in real time.  This tells everyone with access to that account that your home is unguarded.
  • Does your phone automatically upload pictures to a publicly accessible social account? Turn this feature off, or upload your photos to a private storage site such as DropBox or OneDrive.
  • Don’t share information about when or how you get paid.  I’ve seen pictures posted online of guys holding a paycheck, with the bank routing and account number clearly visible, or sitting next to a stack of cash.
  • Again, resist the urge to brag online about your new car or big screen TV.

Learning to be more discreet in your social feeds will help to reduce your profile as a target for criminals.  Next we will look at strategies to protect your financial information.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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