Tips to stay safe on social media and online this holiday season

Updated: Dec. 13, 2019 at 10:43 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Social media is an easy way to connect with friends and family over the holidays.

You should be cautious when posting on social media during the holidays since you don’t always know who’s watching your page.

“A lot of people don’t know who’s on their social media and I think that’s the point. Everybody can track where you’re going and you don’t want to have strangers constantly knowing your location,” said Columbus visitor, Ashley Makruski.

She has the right idea. You can’t always know who’s watching your page. That’s one reason you should be mindful of what you’re posting online during the holidays. One man said he doesn’t post when he’s traveling to protect his home.

“I don’t like to post pictures of ‘hey we’re out of town’ or anything like that because I don’t want anybody that may hack it or something like that to see oh this house is available,” said Mark Cochran.

Some social apps also track and post your locations. It’s a good idea to turn that feature off.

“If you were out of town, maybe turning that off so that people don’t know if you’re out of town or track where you’re at,” Makruski said.

Another way to protect yourself and your home is to carefully dispose of boxes from expensive gifts and online purchases.

“I don’t even like putting the boxes out. In the area, I try to break the boxes down, fold them inside out because it kind of puts a target, ‘oh they’ve got a nice TV,’” Cochran said.

Makruski had her own strategy.

“A lot of people just chuck it somewhere. They don’t really care what happens to it as long as it’s out of their apartment. But recently, I did start. Now, I’m scratching off my names off boxes, or just trying to put them in a place that’s not directly tied to me,” she said.

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