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I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago, about Beating the Scammer. We get lost sometimes when we shop online. We feel we have a goldmine of opportunity and everything is so easy accessible.

Well so is you. Never think that as human beings we are invisible, because we are not.

I have had my accounts hacked into and have had money taken from me online, and it is like you fear no where is safe.

Why? Why me?

Then I looked at my information, my passwords and what I was putting out there.

As a YouTuber I do feel that it is my duty to be responsible online and protect myself and others around me. So I take precautions not to give too much information about myself away. That isn’t hiding. That is different.

The amount of people I see posting maps of where they are.

I am like. NO, STOP AND THINK.

I read an article online a while back and it asked a really good question, which was.

If you were asked to stand in the middle of the street, with a billboard around you with all your information, your name, date of birth, address, credit card numbers and telephone numbers, would you do it?

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Image from: http://www.beyondcliches.com

Of course not, so why do we reveal so much about ourselves online?

You may think I am being hypocritical as I do share pictures online, and share videos on YouTube, and I have revealed a lot in the past, but then my mum pulled me up on it and it had bitten back at me, when someone tried to send a load of spam mail using my Twitter account. I felt suddenly exposed, when initially what I was posting I thought was innocent, but obviously made it easy for someone to hack into my information.

I reported it, I now change my passwords regularly and never reveal too much.

It is okay to share experiences, items purchased, room tours, planner ideas, but I don’t share my date of birth or any naked photos of my son, as I do think as a mum I have to protect my son and be responsible. I think those types of images can end up in the wrong hands, and I don’t share my address, bank details or exactly where I live.

There is just some information people don’t need to know about

The one thing I don’t do any more, is show a map of where I am. I may post a picture after visiting somewhere, but not before. I was like so many doing so, putting a map of where I am , but then after hearing a lady at work speaking to her daughter she made a real valid point, and it rang alarm bells.

Why advertise where you are when you don’t know who is reading that information and you are advertising to people you are not at home and that your house is empty?

When you post a map online, you are advertising that you are not at home, so professional burglars and scammers who may also be seeing this information, may seek an opportunity.

It can happen, it has happened, so do not let it happen to you.

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I like posting pictures of places I have been, but I don’t do a map of where I am, because with the internet you have no idea who is reading that information. It is good for memories to look back on, and for my son, but also to protect him, so I don’t give too much detail of where I am away. I keep it as brief as possible.

When purchasing tickets online, never buy from a private seller.

My cousin did this, and it turned out that the tickets had already been used. Always buy online from the attraction, or from places like Daysoutguide, Groupon, Virgin Experiences, Red Letter Days, Buyagift.com for example, as,

private sellers are usually out to get one thing, and that’s your money. 

You would never start displaying your purse about and what’s inside, so stop and protect it from online private sellers.

The other thing is, when buying items on EBay  or ETSY  check where they are from and the material. It may look good in a photo, but that is because they want to sell it to you.

Check beforehand and definitely check reviews of the seller. 

A lot of scammers love these sites for buying and selling, as it is an opportunity for them to catch you off guard, so protect yourself

When selling, take a photo of the item and write down the condition, keep a record. When sending out a package, package it securely with bubble wrap and a box for heavy items, writing fragile on top, and send via recorded delivery. I know that is extra cost, but at least you know that the recipient has to sign for it at there end and you can keep track of the delivery. 

So be vigilant and careful. Still enjoy your festive season of cheer, but protect yourself at the same time.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

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