Kim Kardashian may be known for breaking the internet, but after she was tied up and robbed in a private apartment in Paris, Kim will now be known for the infamous break-in that had her begging for her life. All in all, the thieves got more than $10 million worth of jewelry and cell phones from the reality star, and police are saying Kim’s social-media presence made her a target.
The incident had to be completely terrifying. Reports have Kim pleading with the thieves not to hurt her as she cried, “I have children.” Thankfully Kim’s kids, North and Saint, were not in Paris with their mom, but the incident got me thinking about what we as moms expose our kids to when we expose ourselves and our lives on social media.
While most of us don’t have the kind of social-media following that Kim does (Kim currently boasts 84 million Instagram followers), we regularly share photos of ourselves, our children, our vacations and our purchases. Kim’s not the only mom whose overshares could put her in harm’s way. We’re all opening ourselves up to unwanted eyes who can see our comings and goings. They know when our house is empty or when we’ve purchased something really decadent that others may want.
So before every mom goes into a social-media hideout, let’s learn from Kim’s experience when it comes to sharing your life, and your belongings, on social media.
1. When You Instagram Your Vacation Real Time, Everyone Knows You’re Not Home
It’s fun to share snaps of your family in Hawaii, Dubai or Boise. But if you’re sharing those fabulous vacation photos in real time, you’re also telling the world you’re not home. That could give someone an idea and make you a prime candidate for a break-in while you’re away.
2. Don’t Show Off Your Wealth
Kim excessively showed off her $4 million diamond ring on Instagram and Snapchat. That’s the same ring the thieves targeted. When it comes to social media, it’s best to downplay wealth and avoid showing off expensive purchases. You never know whose eyes are on your photo. They might belong to someone who will get the bright idea to come take your prized possession.
3. It’s Not That Hard to Track Someone Down From Their Social-Media Footprint
While what happened to Kim in Paris is a social-media worst-case scenario, it is possible for someone to track you down via your social-media postings. If you’re sharing your day via Snapchat or your vacation via Instagram, you are giving a thief a social-media footprint, making it easy for them to track you, or your belongings, down. Think about posting later and not referring to the city in which you live. Also, some parents don’t post photos of their kids at all online, while others disguise their children’s faces and/or names online. When it comes to sharing on social media, sometimes the less private information out there, the better.
4. When We Put Ourselves in Jeopardy, We Put Our Children in Harm’s Way
Kim was lucky that her kids were not on hand when she was robbed, but that won’t always be the case when a mother is targeted as the victim of a crime due to her social-media presence. So we owe it to our kids to share responsibly and keep our kids safe.
5. Nothing Really Matters as Long as You and Your Family Are Safe
Kim may seem cavalier about losing $10 million worth of jewelry. But after being tied up and held at gunpoint, she knows that jewelry can be replaced. Your life can't.
So while I’m so sorry Kim went through such a horrific experience, I’m using it as a cautionary tale and making sure I don’t overshare online.