Robbed on and off the pitch

Like much of the world, the Neotas team is eagerly awaiting the kick off to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Millions of fans from countries all around the world will be pouring into Russia to watch thirty-two teams battle it out for the most prized trophy in football.

Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat feeds will soon be filled with photos from fans showing off the view from their seats or how flash (or not) their hotel room is. Social media is a great tool to tell the world about the experiences we’re having. However, what are the consequences of all of this?

Posting that photo of you cheering on England from the stands to your public Instagram may seem innocuous but now anyone looking at your feed knows exactly where you are. And the fact that you’re not at home. They scroll further back through your feed and see that photo you posted of your new car in the driveway. Now they know where you are and what your house looks like. It is so easy to make ourselves vulnerable online without even realising.

It’s not just fans at risk. With public social media playing such an important part in branding, players fall into this trap all too often. Just a few days ago, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique had his house robbed whilst visiting his wife Shakira on tour in Germany. In January, West Brom player James McClean came home to a break-in after playing an evening fixture. Last year, John Terry and his wife were posting public photos of their holiday at the exact same time as their house was burgled.

Social media is an amazing thing, but we needlessly put ourselves at risk. Just a moment’s thought about who our audience actually is and what we’re showing them can make all the difference.

-Alex Penn

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