There's Real Danger in Sharing Too Much Online

May 15, 2013

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In March, a teenage girl was murdered while home alone in Tulsa. A few hours before she died, she tweeted, “Have the house to myself everybody gone.” 

Sometimes, we share too much information online.  At the time of this story, it had not been proven the killer saw her Twitter feed; but announcing you're home alone to the general public is not a good idea.

Like the reporter in this story, I searched on Twitter for the phrase “I’m home alone” and found tweets from young and old alike.

Sadly, the murder case is an extreme example of what could happen if you share too much information online. But even less extreme consequences aren’t worth it. Other consequences of information oversharing could include home burglary while on vacation or identity thieves taking your identity because you posted your birthdate, address, and cellphone number on Facebook. 

It's called the "World Wide Web" for a reason—it’s worldwide. 

What should a parent do?

  1. Talk with your kids about the problem of sharing too much online.  
  2. Consider getting a parental controls software solution to help you monitor what your teens are saying on social network sites.  At Top Ten Reviews, check out the list of products to help monitor a child's Facebook use. Or, use Net Nanny Social.
  3. And, as one social media expert said: Parents should drill into their child’s mind that when they post on social media, they should avoid revealing the three W's.  Those stand for who they are with, where they are going, and when they will arrive.

These three W's are the same details parents insist on having in order to find a child if something goes wrong. So it should be no surprise that a child should not share this information online…with strangers.

I work for Net Nanny and all opinions are my own.