ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It may be difficult to remember a time when society didn't have social media. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Snapchat, posting has become a daily habit for billions of people around the world.
However, what you post could spell trouble.
"We really don't know who's on the other side of that account," said Staci Feger-Pellessier, spokesperson for Federal Bureau of Investigation Alaska Division.
People are putting themselves at risk when they post too much on social media, according to the FBI. It's not that people need to be paranoid, Feger-Pellessier said, but people should be aware of who will see it.
"The personal information that you are broadcasting," Feger-Pellessier said. "Are you comfortable with strangers knowing that you are getting ready to go on vacation? Are you comfortable with strangers knowing that you have children going to 'x' school?"
And it's children, she said, that are most at risk.
"Across the country, children are being lured by people they are meeting on social media," Feger-Pellessier said.
The legal system is beginning to see social media make its way into the courtroom, with it being used to either help or hurt a case.
"I've heard of instances where people go out and commit crimes, then post on social media photographs, providing evidence of those very crimes," said trial attorney Michael Moberly.
And then, there is social media and your job.
"We may be looking on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, and find different facets that perhaps may or may not be good things to see about employees," said Jillian Caswell, Operations Director for Alaska Executive Search, a job placement business based in Anchorage.
In the end, social media posts could help you get a job, or they could get you fired.
"If you are going home early because your arm is hurting, because you just got out of the hospital," Caswell said, "and then your boss hears that you are out at Applebee's drinking margaritas - because you got a picture on Facebook come up or Instagram come up - you can actually lose your job."
The next time people take a great selfie or want to share where they are, experts advise to think twice before you post.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Lock down privacy settings
- Make profiles private
- Check privacy settings often
- Turn off location features when taking pictures, especially if it's a child's camera
- Parents should know what their child is doing on social media
- Children often have more than one account