You may not have a lot in common with superstar Kim Kardashian West, but this week she has given us an opportunity to learn what is too much for social media. Yes, this is the same Kim Kardashian West who is famous for “breaking the internet” with adult photos and videos. So with that said, how can she yet again show us what not to do on social media?
While her online stunts are intentional and executed with the aim of pushing her personal brand, this week Kim’s social media may have gotten her robbed at gunpoint while in Paris. Let’s be clear. A woman who is a wife and mother was held at gunpoint while being robbed. This is a serious situation that should not be exploited for humor. If this had happened to your wife, you’d say the same.
The Paris Police and even Kim herself blame her social media for igniting the events that led to her frightening encounter with armed thieves. Both Kim and her husband, have vowed to change their social media habits. So let’s look at some ways we can learn from Kim’s ordeal to keep ourselves safe.
Don’t Show Off Your Bling - Yes, I just typed that. But it’s true. You always take a risk of drawing unwanted attention when you post a new possession on social media. Most of us post pictures of new clothes, a new Xbox game or at most a new car. Nothing that would draw out the elite cat burglars of the world. But when you have a new ring that is as big as Rhode Island, you are going to get a lot of attention and not all of it is going to be good. Posts like this make you a target for violence and theft. This is strike one.
Don’t Share Your Location - I’ve written about this a few times. Most recently about how a glitch with Instagram could have been sharing your home’s location. (Read more) Sharing your location can be fun if you are going to be there for only a few hours and will return home soon. But do not ever post your location when you are away from home for an extended time because you’ve now armed thieves with powerful knowledge that your home is vacant and thus a soft target for robbery.
According to numerous reports online, Kim posted photos of her residence, even from the bathroom of the apartment. (I do understand that Kim has a following of paparazzi that also could give away her location.) Sharing her bling and location now equals strike two.
Don’t Share Your Itinerary - This goes hand in hand with with sharing your location. Evildoers look for patterns in your behavior and then create a plan to exploit you where you are vulnerable. Don’t hand the bad guys a map of your day. Keep your movements private and post photos of places after you’ve left or returned home. You can always tag them with #latergram.
Kim made several SnapChat posts telling followers where she’d been and where she was going next. I even discovered a few posts showing Kim’s entourage going out for the night while she explains she’s staying home by herself because she got a spray tan. (Apparently you can’t go anywhere after getting a spray tan. I certainly didn’t know.) So now we have strike three showing where you’ve been and that you are home alone.
All of these posts create a profile of where you are, what you have on you and where you will be next. Now the bad guys have a good picture (literally) of what to do to exploit your vulnerabilities. It does not matter if you are a Kardashian or a Smith from Hometown, USA - you must stay safe online.