Selfie, snapshot or security threat?

How safe are you on social media? You may be shocked to learn just how revealing your happy snaps really are writes Get it’s Hayley Bogaard

I’m sorry Madonna, but we are no longer living in a material world. We are living in social media world. And in social media world, the saying goes: picture or it didn’t happen. No longer is it enough to simply eat your brunch, you must photograph it, filter it and post it. And if you don’t post a mirror selfie in your Lorna Jane tights, did you even work out?

So in a world so consumed by images, how much do you really think about what you’re posting? You may be surprised at how these seemingly innocent photos, could be revealing a whole lot more than you ever intended!

Boarding Pass

Look up #boardingpass on Instagram and you’ll find over 109,000 posts. Who knew it was a thing, right? While you may be tempted to post a photo of your boarding pass to brag about your adventures, think again. With your boarding pass details, savvy users may be able to access your full itinerary, frequent flyer logins, and even credit card details. Think covering up your personal details will solve that problem? Wrong. The barcode on your boarding pass also contains all your personal booking details and can be read easily using an online barcode reader. You’ve been warned!

Your Workspace

It’s a Thursday morning, you’re on your second cup of coffee and productivity is at a peak. You take a quick photo of your workspace with your cute notepad, laptop and kitschy coffee cup and post it online. Perfectly innocent, right? Well, one blogger found out how dangerous this can be when, after posting a picture of her home office set up, her followers quickly pointed out that by zooming in on the photo, her diary and post-it notes were clearly visible – featuring phone numbers, personal information, client names and invoices being chased. Gulp!

School Uniforms

The kids are heading back to school and look adorable in their school uniforms – complete with oversized backpacks and dorky straight-brimmed hat – so you take the traditional back to school snap and post it to Facebook. You’re a proud mumma! Well, you’ve just announced where your child will be seven hours a day, five days a week. Does that sound safe to you? No, me neither.

Sold Sign

Recently, a popular blogger shared a photo that showed her standing with the auction sign out the front of the house she had just purchased. The street number was visible, as well as the name of the real estate agent. One simple Google search using these details, delivered her full address and the price she paid at auction. You wouldn’t announce these details publicly, so don’t inadvertently post it in your photos!

Gift Cards and Credit Cards

Learn this valuable lesson from those who have learned it before you. In 2016, a Perth woman decided to sell an unwanted makeup voucher online to make some extra cash for a holiday. She took a few snaps, uploaded them to Facebook and within minutes the $94 value was stolen. Avoid posting any images that include barcodes or reference numbers, as these can easily be used in an online store. Oh and when it comes to posting a photo of your credit card, the rule is simple: don’t.

Have you discovered the magic of Google Maps Street View? The Google feature provides real life, panoramic views from positions along streets all over the world. Want to see what the house you grew up in looks like? Punch in the address to Google Maps Street View and you’re whisked right back to your childhood home. Amazing!

But this technology is loved by more than just the nostalgic. Criminals around the world are utilising the technology to ‘case a joint’ from the comfort of their own home. No longer do they need to sneak around in the shadows of the night to assess your home or business for a potential break in. By using Google Maps Street View, they are able to see potential entry points to your home, if you have a dog, if any security systems or gates are present and find good hiding places around your property. Scary, right?!

While there’s not much you can do about this one, it just goes to prove how technology can be used for both good and evil and how aware you need to be about your safety online!

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