CUMBRIA Police are advising people to 'think before they post', as part of a week-long cybercrime campaign.
Since 2011 there have been 152 reports of crime to Cumbria Police which in some way relate to Facebook or Twitter.
One of the most common crimes is ‘offences against the person’ – with 41 of these crimes in 2013 relating to Facebook in some way.
Detective Superintendent Andrew Slattery explains:
“Social networking is a great resource, and now a common way to keep in touch with a large group of people.
"However it is sadly also rapidly becoming a target for would-be criminals.
“Due to the nature of the sites it is often easy to gather personal data from a profile and use this to commit fraud, identity theft, or harassment.
“Another key issue is people making themselves vulnerable to crime through posting personal information such as dates of holidays when they will be away from home or details of high value purchases.
“Some applications have unforeseen risks such as cyclists using GPS tracking to log and share their training rides, which inadvertently discloses the whereabouts of high value bicycles unless privacy settings are applied prudently.
“There are some simple steps people can take to protect themselves, including checking security settings, and being careful with what you post.
“Whilst social media allows us to share our views and opinions there are limits to what is acceptable and what could be construed as unlawful.
"Users should think before posting and ask themselves whether their post could be construed as bullying, racist, homophobic or offensive in any other way.
"Even if a post is meant to be humorous or light hearted it may be viewed by others who are offended or intimidated by it. If in doubt – don’t post it.”