McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


April 17, 2014

Social media safety advice

Detective’s Dispatch

McALESTER — How many times have you seen on Facebook or other social media sites about someone going on vacation, going to the store or being out of town for some other reason? The majority of us have done this or know someone who has done this. This is just an open invitation for a burglar to go and burglarize your home.

Do not post comments about going out of town for the week or even a night. Do not post photos while on vacation and avoid using social media check-in apps, as this is also a record of when you are not home and gives a burglar time to pay your home an unwanted visit.

You will have plenty of time to post your photos when you return from your trip.

Be careful of what you put on these sites and who you share this information with. Addresses and phone numbers could help potential burglars or stalkers locate you much more easily.

Identity theft is made simpler by every piece of information the thief can obtain about you. Do not post information that could give crooks information about your password hints. Some common ones include your mother’s maiden name, your pet’s name, or the name of the street you grew up on.

Do not post pictures of checks, credit cards, account numbers, your bank or credit card companies. Don’t make comments on these sites about your finances, even in general. For instance, if you win a thousand dollars at the casino, do not post this on Facebook. This could make you a potential target of a burglary or robbery.

Anything you don’t want others to share, don’t post it. This includes your status, photos, or even complaints about work or some other person. This could affect your job or even your social life.

If you have any doubts about whether a comment or photo is appropriate for public viewing, it’s best not to post it.

Social media has become a very popular and effective tool in our personal lives, businesses and has even helped police departments in solving crimes. Just be careful with what you post or who you “add as a friend.” Don’t put any information out there that you don’t want everybody to know.

Hope everybody has a safe week and don’t forget to buckle up!

To contact officer Jeremy Busby about a safety program, call 918-423-9657 or email him at

If you have any information on a crime, contact the McAlester Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 918-421-4917 or email me at You may remain anonymous. To report any other criminal or suspicious activity, contact the McAlester Police Department at 918-423-1212 or dial 911 if it is an emergency.

Det. Sgt. Morris is the public information officer for McAlester Police Department. Contact him at 918-423-1212.

Tip of the Week: If a traffic light turns yellow, it means slow down and prepare to stop. Failure to stop for a traffic light (red light) is against the law and contributes to many traffic accidents. The fine for not obeying a traffic signal is $172.


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