Things One Investigator Says You Should Never Share Online
10 years ago, if someone you barely knew asked how your holiday was or what the new job is like, you’d have either wondered how much you’d had to drink last night or alerted the police that you were the latest victim of stalking.
Yes, social media has meant the end (thankfully) of dull nights round at your friends’ houses looking at holiday pictures and home videos, but it now gives everyone a window into just what you are doing with your life.
Innocent comments on what you are up to, where you are going, who you have seen and what you might do may all seem like harmless words; but you never know who is reading them.
“So what’s wrong with that?” you may ask.
Well, innocent comments on what you are up to, where you are going, who you have seen and what you might do may all seem like harmless words; but you never know who is reading them.
So, before you pour your heart out to someone who you don’t know and may have never met, take a minute to think or, better still, remember these simple rules when it comes to the things you should never declare on social media.
There’s nobody home
An obvious one for starters, but any announcements of holidays, trips away or even nights out should be limited. You don’t want all and sundry knowing your house is empty – besides, you’ll only ruin the surprise when all those pictures of your trip go up for everyone to see in a few weeks time.
That you have just bought something expensive
The 21st century version of not leaving packaging for expensive TVs and DVD players outside your home is not bragging about your latest acquisitions on social media. Pictures of new and expensive gadgets, not to mention where they are placed in your home, will work like an online Argos catalogue for any budding thief. Just be content with showing your friends (real ones) when they come round to visit.
Where to start with this one? Pictures of a big night out can cause so many problems on so many levels. Not only can they land you in a heap of trouble with work (especially if you don’t show up the next day), they can also incriminate others. Make sure you check just who is in the background of your pictures and exactly what they are up to before showing them to the world and probably his wife.
Facebook and Divorce
Facebook was cited as a reason for one-third of divorces in the United Kingdom last year.
According to one law firm, in the past two years there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of behavior-based divorce petitions containing the word 'Facebook'.
The state of your relationship
If relationships weren’t complicated enough, why feel the need to tell everyone else about them? From a brief office fling to an extramarital affair; anything disclosed on a social networking site will only muddy the waters. And don’t think just because you are recently free and single you can shout it all from the rooftops. Evidence gathered from Facebook photos and tell-tale tweets is cropping up more and more when it comes to divorce settlements – which can often be very costly.
What you think of your boss or fellow workers
One of the biggest faux pas you can commit in the virtual world of social media is bad mouthing people. But when those people pay your wages or have to work with you things can get very nasty. Even if you’ve just left your job, don’t even think about venting your dislike for your former employers. Remember - these are the guys who companies will go to when looking for a reference when the time comes to start applying for other positions.
That you’ve just committed a crime
Yes, it does sound ridiculous, but idle comments about breaking the speed limit, sneaking out of a shop without paying or even parking where you shouldn’t can all be flagged up and alert the suspicions of those reading your comments – who might just do something about it.
That you are taking a sickie
Claiming you are ill in order to take a day off work is risky enough at the best of times, but shared pictures of a day out in the park, in the pub, or even just random comments about the world in general while you’re supposed to be at death’s door will only make your return to the office that little more awkward when you’ve finally “recovered.”
About the Author
This helpful piece of content was written by Peter Farrington, Managing Director of Probe Investigations who are commercial investigators and security consultants based in the United Kingdom.
To find the latest news and reviews from Probe Investigations, you can find them on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
Become a Guest Contributor
This article was written by an industry guest contributor. If you are interested in submitting a guest post or have an article suggestion, send an email to [email protected].