3 Places I Never Check Into Online For Safety Reasons

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Do you use FourSquare? Check into Facebook? I mean, I really only use FourSquare to get points and beat my friends. Or to get the free appetizer or dessert at Chili’s. Everyone knows there are perks to checking into certain places. So, of course, I check in there. And I even ask my friends to so we can get the deal. Don’t you?

But, there are some places that I never check into. And I cringe when I see others do it. Perhaps it’s because I have more of an online presence than my “real life” friends, but it still scares me. And I realize if someone REALLY wants to find me, they can. But I do not want to make it any easier for them.

So, what are those three places?

Never Check Into Online

3 Places I Never Check Into Online

  1. My house – I am adamant with my teens on this one as well. They know to never check into our house. Most of my family doesn’t even know where I live. There is no way I want 1,000′s of people online knowing as well. This is my private haven. This is where I hold my kids safe. I do not care to share it with strangers. 
  2. A habitual stop – We go to church on Sunday mornings. But, I do not check in there on FourSquare. I do not get an extra pew card or prayer request by doing so. There are no benefits. And, my biggest issue, my kids are not with me the whole time. Plus, if I create a habit online then any stalkerish, robber-type may figure it out and visit me or my empty home. Plus, if I am not checked in each week you have no idea if I actually went that Sunday or not.
  3. My children’s school – This one makes me cringe most often. Whether on FourSquare on Facebook, I NEVER check into my children’s schools. I do not think it is anyone’s business where my kids go to school. Only a handful of people that need to know in my real life even know. Although I try not to use my children’s names publicly, I could not imagine what would happen if that information fell into the wrong hands. If I want to announce that I am having lunch with my daughters, then I do just that. No need to tell everyone where. The safety of my children is far more important than any points on that one. Hands down.
stay more secure

photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

Stay More Secure

So what are some ways you can check in and stay safe? Here are a few ideas that could help you stay more secure.

  • Check in upon departure – I do this almost every time. As we’re driving away I am checking in. Yes, I WAS there. But you cannot go in and find me there anymore. 
  • Be selective in your friends - Don’t accept everyone who asks to befriend you on FourSquare. Know who you have following you around town.
  • Do not share to Facebook or Twitter – I do not share FourSquare check-ins to FB or Twitter. Different crowd on Twitter. No control over who sees it. If I want to share with my personal friends on Facebook then I share directly through FB.
  • Monitor your personal settings - Access to your phone number and email can be turned off. Link to Social Media accounts can be stopped. Location information can also be set to private: this includes being seen on the list of people checked into venues, public mayorships, venue managers accessibility, and when friends check in with you it can post to their Facebook.

What tips do you have? Are there ways you stay safe while checking in with these services?

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Comments

    • says

      As I mentioned, I like FourSquare for the deals and such, but only friend people I am familiar with and still only share certain check-ins based on media coverage.

    • says

      I actually read about setting up a remote check-in similar to what you did. I know Colby checks into some random place called “Kitty’s Island” that someone set up whenever he wants to be silly. You can pretty much check into anywhere by just searching your places. :)

  1. Keri says

    I agree with all of these and would like to add to the “at home” with also at others homes. My kids visit grandparents houses without me there and I think it’s just as important people don’t know where they live either.
    And one of my biggest annoinces, hospitals. The only reason to check into the hospital/ER without pics/full disruption is for the drama. It scares friends and family and I just don’t think it should be done. There is a more tactful way to post about “Sam’s” first stitches.

    • says

      Yes, grandparents homes are off-limits as well. Luckily my teens are not big into checking-in anywhere. I like to think it’s because I have taught them well enough! :)

  2. says

    While I rarely use anything to check in anywhere, because I fail to see the purpose, this post sort of amazes me. Mostly because people think you can’t find out who they are/where they live easily. Now, I don’t pretend to be a big time blog follower or know you well, but I would bet I could find out where most people live in just a few minutes. And I’m just a mom who is not super net savvy. All kinds of strangers know where you live, and believe me, anyone who has any real interest in knowing already knows.

    I’m constantly telling my kids to never believe they are hidden online, no matter how clever they think they are, because that twitter account you think nobody can find? They sure can, and sometimes without even trying!

    I applaud anyone for being safe – just please don’t think people can not track you down because you think you’ve covered your tracks online. So very few of us are that good.
    tammigirl recently posted..Armoire makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk PaintMy Profile

    • says

      Oh, I agree. That is why I stated that I just don’t want to make it easier. :) The way photos are geo-tagged (which I do try to make sure stays turned off) and other things like that… if someone is looking they can find you. I guess it comes down to doing our part to try to keep ourselves safer. Thank you for your insight. I appreciate you reminding us of this fact.

  3. says

    I never check into places online just always seemed unsafe to me. Not that at times I haven’t said where I am but for the most part I don’t think the facebook world needs to know where I am at all times.
    Misty recently posted..Ack! Scale JumpMy Profile

  4. Tammy S says

    Great tips. It’s so sad that there are so many strange people out there that you have to be so careful. We have taught our kids to keep in mind that it is called the World Wide Web for a reason. You don’t want the whole world to know all your business. We have also said they can only check into places as they leave. It’s always better to be safe then sorry.

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