Who Knows Where You Are?

Roger and I were sitting around the dinner table with our next door neighbor, a recently retired teacher who has a fondness for cats and is happy to babysit our kitten while we travel. We, in exchange, make sure she has plants that are watered on a regular basis.

She is what we would call, “Low-tech”. Yes, she has a computer, but when it comes to things like Facebook, she has no need for them.

She was a little freaked out about understanding all the privacy settings and having people know where she is and what she is doing.

And I just thought to myself, “Oh you older people with your irrational paranoia… Yes, we have no privacy anymore, but that’s just the age we live in – it’s not like anyone is trying to find me…”

Not an hour later, I read this article about a disgruntled author tracking down an agent in MY HOME TOWN, at her kid’s school, and attacking her with a baseball bat.

You can be sure I’m going to double check my privacy settings – for sure.

This is not to freak anyone out, but to be a reminder to check those settings.

Tell me in the comments below how you stay safe online. We all need the reminder.





  1. Wow. That is crazy. Fortunately, I am married to safety patrol and techie husband. And good combo to stay safe online. I don’t post my location unless it is a retreat or some event for speaking. But none of the foursquare stuff and my location settings are off on my iPhone so when I take pictures it does not mark the locations when I post a pic on fb or instagram. And yay for her little dog who saved the day. Classic!

  2. Whoa! A literary agent attacked by a baseball bat? What is going on? That is nuts and every time I hear of crazed stories such as this, my “bubble” of security decreases in size just a bit more…it’s definitely in danger of pooping for good one of these days.

    As far as protecting myself online though, I have to admit, I don’t do a ton. Other than website security and things to protect me from viruses and Spam, I’m not sure what else to do…

    A baseball bat attack on a lit agent? Crazy!

  3. She was using location-based social networking. I’m surprised people don’t realize how unwise that is! May God give us wisdom for staying safe on-line… I realize there’s only so much you can do, but I can’t believe people think it’s okay to post their every move! I don’t even use my last name or mention which state I live in publicly if I can help it. It’s easy enough for crazy people to get info. if they really want it–why make it more accessible to them?!

  4. How nuts is that? And, so scary . . . I’ve set my security to the max on FB. No games or apps, either. Hope it’s enough.
    Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Kathi.

  5. I don’t “check in” anywhere; no coupon is worth the chance. Location is turned off on all my apps except for maps, so there’s no location info attached to pics of my kids. I don’t talk about trips on FB until we get back home. It’s unfortunate that we have to be so vigilant, but these are the times we live in.

  6. High security settings on facebook. On Twitter my name is misspelled (and my children are never mentioned by name there). My fb and twitter profiles are not linked.

    When blogging I don’t say where I live. I don’t give Mr. FullCup’s first name. My location isn’t published on facebook. My local friends, or close friends who I know IRL, know where I live but it’s available to just anyone.

  7. Photos taken on Smart phones that are downloaded on social websites can contain the GPS coordinates as to where the photo was taken. This poses a huge danger to families who constantly post pictures of their kids at home, the park, the school, church, etc. A tech-savvy predator could easily learn your family’s whereabouts and use that to his/her advantage. If you have a smart phone and like taking pictures to post online, you should learn how to turn off the GPS setting on your phone (at least the camera portion).


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