1. Location, location, location. If there's any way for anyone to find out your home address online, don't use locator services such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places while away. If you're determined to post about having been to the hottest bar or club, wait and check in when leaving. And never check in at home. There are aggregate sites that compile such data into a handy thief sheet for potential burglars.

2. Choose friends carefully. Only accept requests from actual friends. Security expert Jason Hart of CRYPTOCard Network Security compares a Facebook friend request from someone you don't know to inviting "a perfect stranger into your house simply because they knocked on your door and said they wanted a look around." If you have hundreds of "friends," set up a friend list with your actual close friends on it -- not everyone you once met at a party -- and change custom privacy settings so that only these people see what you're up to. This includes setting privacy filters for any photo albums you load while away.

3. Keep certain info quiet. Don't list your home address anywhere online -- even on event invites. For similar safety reasons, don't list your kids' names, your birth date, phone number or social security number. Always ask yourself what malicious eyes could do with information before you post.

4. Don't boast-post. Don't post about the incredible new $3,000 MacBook Pro or expensive jewelry you just got. Think about what's in photos that you post of your home and possessions. Is that a shiny new flat screen TV in the background of those party pictures? Those photos show potential thieves what you've got and even which room it's in.

5. Learn without learning the hard way. If you're going to upload information, photos or activity details, take time to locate and understand privacy and application settings on Facebook.

6. Silence is golden. Cyber-silence is usually the best insurance, whether you're going for vacation or for lunch, but prolific posters may want to update with a few strategic, innocuous posts that seem to be coming from home -- the social networking equivalent of putting your lights on a timer.