How Your Twitter Posts Could Make You A Victim Of Crime


photo:Kim Kardashian

We need to talk about social media and some of the scary things that have been going on since Fashion Week began.

It started with Gigi Hadid being picked up by a ‘prankster’ (read: idiot), and then blamed for elbowing him in the face, and ended with Kim Kardashian being robbed at gunpoint, and then blamed for showing her jewelry on various social media channels.

It’s a narrative we’ve got used to. Victim blaming is nothing new, and an issue we are all far too aware of.

When Drake’s tour bus was robbed of $3 million in jewelry, I don’t remember seeing any tweets accusing him of an insurance scam or trying to get more exposure. He never even had a gun in his face.

But that’s what people on social media said about Kim, they even wondered why nobody had ‘pulled the trigger.’ Rather than get into the incredibly frustrating and problematic culture of victim blaming (how do you expect anyone to come forward when they are victimized if this is how you treat women in the public eye?), we learned another lesson from all this. Social media is scary.

The days leading up to the robbery, Kim posted photos with her jewelry and even brought her head security guard into the limelight by tagging him in a post. How was she to know what could happen? It’s absolutely not her fault, and the French authorities think someone ‘on the inside’ tipped off the gang that she was alone, and that her social media updates helped keep them in the loop about what to look for. Which is seriously scary.

They always say be smart about social media, but we often don’t think about it. How many times have you posted your location on Instagram? Or shared a snap of your favorite purchases, including jewelry? Or done a Snapchat tour of your home? We don’t think twice about it. I even know someone who published their address on Facebook.

But we need to be smarter about this. Only post your location after you’ve left. Don’t tag your house on Instagram as ‘my house’. Don’t show off your belongings if people know your location. Be careful who you add, and who you show things to.

Because this kind of thing doesn’t just happen to famous people. Any of us could be Kim.

The other thing we should all consider is that not everybody on social media is like us. Not everybody has the same opinion. Some people only access social media to give their unfiltered opinion, and it might offend you. Some people access social media for darker reasons. To steal passwords, to look for easy targets.

According to the EO Network, a whole host of information can be used against you. Including your name, date of birth, hometown, relationship status, school location, pet names, GPS coordinates and more. Social media crimes have risen exponentially, not just cyber crimes, but real-life crimes that are linked to social media.

The USAPP Network says: “The growth of performance crime is additionally tied to the celebrity culture that emerged in the 20th century when celebrities became a focus of public interest and becoming a celebrity a career goal.”

An infographic by Credit Sesame says that 78% of criminals use Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to target properties. 74% of those use Google Street View to case properties. Does that scare you?

If it does, it’s time to do a social media cleanse.

Set your profile to private, don’t post photos with landmarks that reveal your home location, don’t check-in anywhere or take photo inventories of the valuables you have, don’t ever reveal you’re leaving the house empty. Only accept people you know!

What do you think about this? 


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  • Elishia

    This is such an interesting post and brilliantly written Beth. I’ve always found social media so interesting for the way it can take over people’s lives and I’ve always been cautious myself, but I’ve never considered it fuelling real life crime!! Great post!

  • Leah, A Relaxed Gal

    Great post. I am so wary of posting location info on social media. If I decide to it’s usually days after the fact. I don’t like letting people know when I travel so I post the pictures after I get home. The more information you put out there, the more vulnerable you make yourself.

  • Olga Baker

    Beth, thank you so much for writing this and for sharing the infographics! It is truly amazing how reckless we have become when it comes to our privacy. Before reading this, I haven’t really thought about how location sharing can be misused, but it makes total sense. And yes, Snapchat home tours do look almost like an open invitation to burglars!
    Thank you for raising these issues, girl. Love your work.

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