Geotargeting is the new social media buzz, as long as you don’t become the target of the weird and creepy.
A marketers dream, Geolocation companies like Foursquare, Twitter Local, GoWalla! and Google can also make it easy prey for stalkers and cyber weirdos. These geo-mapping tools make it much easier for people who don’t personally know me to access where my physical location is any time of day or night. A big risk for women to become victim to cyber-stalking.
So I tweet, “like”, and post my daily thoughts to people who aren’t necessarily in my circle of friends to a vast digital world that is always growing. As I was thinking about these fundamental tools helping small businesses get on the map, I thought, hey, I just told over 800 people where I am, what I ordered, and gave them tips on what they should do when they stop in.
That is when it hit me!
The digital world shares way too much information and not everyone out there can be trusted –a light bulb flashed in my head. Wait, I don’t need to be scared! I have a solution. I can do this and not worry about who is following me. In fact, I will choose to give the information in my definition of real time. Perhaps I shouldn’t share my location and tips with the interactive yet sometimes dangerous cyber world until I am on my way out!
Check in when you on your way to the next stop. We must think quicker and one step ahead of these cyber stalkers. Always be conscious of your surroundings and the select “bad seeds” that are undoubtedly monitoring us.
Do you have a GPS in your car? Update HOME to a different place. Think about it, someone can steal your car, punch in “home” on your GPS, use the garage door opener and enter in right through the garage. Could we make it any easier for these robbers?
Avoid the Obvious Passwords: Don’t use your birthday as your ATM/Bank code! Someone can steal your wallet and take it all!
Protect the Children If your kids go to school; don’t show the world where they go. This is the most important tip I can give. Being cautious and protective can only benefit you.
Vacation Shout Out a No: You might as well invite a burglary if you advertise you are on vacation. It’s a big yellow sign saying, “Hey, I won’t be home for a week. I just got a TV for the holidays so if you want it, enjoy.”
When accepting followers and friends in your personal social networks, make sure they have friends in common. If you use Twitter for business purposes, this doesn’t affect you as much since you likely won’t be telling people where you were last night and what you are eating. Thieves flock to where the money is and adapt to technology to make their job easier, just like any other profession.
In our digital world, geolocation tools can offer a fun addition to the virtual world and it’s easy to forget how it all connects together. Think of geolocation as a password to your email. Use it effectively and be sure to keep it safe, simple and smart. Stop and think One, Two, Three, Foursquare!
Article contributed by Navah Kirstein