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Security tips: Social media do’s and don’ts on your holiday getaway

Security tips: Social media do’s and don’ts on your holiday getaway

Holiday travel and winter getaways are just around the corner. It’s a fun and exciting time you want to share with your friends through posts and photos on social media. However, you might want to think twice before posting your vacation pics and advertising to the world that you are away from home.

Social media networks are growing in number and popularity every day. Yet surprisingly users are increasingly less careful with the personal information they share with their “friends.” You may think you have a firm grasp on who your friends are but many people forget that there are people they’ve accepted as friends that are merely acquaintances, people they haven’t seen in many years, or maybe they’re friends of friends and not someone you personally know well.

When users post updates on social media, especially those that are less selective in accepting friend requests, they are opening themselves up to sharing important and private information with some people that will use the information to take advantage of you and your home.

5 Social Media Tips to Protect You and Your Home

·         Announcing Vacation Plans. Taking a vacation is a wonderful thing and sharing the news is exciting, but it also indicates that no one will be home for a period of time. This sends a red alert that your home is most likely vacant which could lead to a break-in or squatters. Also, unless your mail is stopped while you’re away, a thief may also have access to your mailbox and important mail.

·         Sharing Photos of Your Home and Things. Did you get something new for your home? Did you just get engaged? Did you just remodel a room? Are your kids dressed up around the Christmas tree? These are times many people like to snap a photo and share on social media, but these photos are also telling of what else you have in your home and if there’s something worth stealing. Your photo may show TV’s and computers, a pricey engagement ring, a plethora of gifts around the tree, or expensive artwork. Before you share, think about what you’re showing your followers.

·         RSVP’s. Any time you publicly RSVP to parties, school events, concerts or any other event, you’re giving an intruder an invitation to target your home—after all, you’re going to be busy that night! Social media may not give away your home address, but with the internet it’s not hard to find out.

·         Check-Ins. You’re somewhere cool and can’t wait to share it with your followers so you “check-in”—whether it’s a new restaurant or vacation spot. Businesses often encourage customers to check in and may even offer a reward for sharing it. But check-ins tell followers that you’re not at home and if you tag your friends, you’re putting them at risk too.

·         Holiday Plans. The holidays usually call for travel to see family or go on a family vacation. While visiting family is a great, sharing it on social media is not. The holidays often mean that valuables and gifts will be out in the open and that homes will be empty for an extended period of time. The holidays are also a peak time for home break-ins with thieves looking for gift items to steal and sell. If you’re going to be gone for the holidays, it’s best to keep it under wraps.

To help prevent home security issues from happening to you, be mindful of who you accept as a “friend” on social media. Really consider what you’re sharing and with whom you’re sharing it. Think of it this way, if all your social media friends were in a big room, would you tell the entire crowd you’re going away and your home will be left vacant? If your answer is no, then you shouldn’t be sharing it on social media. Consider this and not only your home, but your privacy as a whole will be better protected.

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