Dangers of online posts during the holiday season - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dangers of online posts during the holiday season

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

You're excited about a new gift, or holiday vacation, so you post something online.

But, that could only invite a thief to your house instead of Santa.

Brad Burge, a commander with the Malden Tri-County Cyber Crimes Task Force suggests checking your privacy settings. Look at who you're sharing your information, pictures, and videos with.

He suggests not signing into Facebook, but looking at your profile as a guest, so you can see how much information a stranger can find.

If you're taking a holiday vacation, Burge said don't post any pictures or information about the trip until after you've returned home. That way you're not advertising that you're away from home.

Cape Girardeau Police Officer Darin Hickey agrees, saying when you post things like "beach for the holidays," it just flat out tells people you're not home.

He said you can also check your security settings to only allow certain people to see pictures and posts, and keep it private to others.

Hickey said if you normally post often, don't change your online activity while on vacation, because that could also suggest something is different, like you're out of town.

Some online users said they've never thought about the dangers. Others said they always play it safe.

"I would personally never do it, I see a lot of older people aunts, uncles, grandparents doing that type of thing, 'hey just got all my Christmas shopping out of the way,' and I don't think they realize how many people see that, on their homepage, and see hey they're leaving out of town, two days ago they said they finished all their shopping, they just don't get that," said Tessa McNally of Cape Girardeau.

"Personally I don't put a whole lot on Facebook, I don't want people knowing when I'm home, when I'm not at home, what I've bought for my kids so they can come take things from my house," said Kelly Talley of Cape Girardeau.

"They have pictures of their house and they're saying, 'hey I just finished buying a big screen TV on Black Friday,' and people know where they live, know what they have, they know when they're going for work because they check in and say, 'hey I'm at work right now," and you've just got to take precautions even online when you think you know everybody," said McNally.

"I might put something after we've gone someplace and we had a good time something to that effect, but nothing too personal," said Talley.

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