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?
3 Places I Never Check Into Online
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.