Nowadays when we take a trip, it is not just our co-workers, family and friends who know about it… Once we start posting anything online about it – be it a simple status update or a picture from the destination – everyone who can see your Facebook or Twitter feeds knows about it.
And even though we’ve all heard the horror stories and the stern warnings, many of us refuse to believe that thieves are lurking on the internet. Unfortunately, we refuse to believe it until it happens to us.
So it’s important to make sure that our homes are protected when we’re travelling by taking these six simple and savvy precautionary measures on our social media pages.
1. Do not post any specific status updates about your upcoming trip. Don’t post the dates you will be away, or even that you are going away soon. It may be fun to see how jealous that person you went to high school with – but never actually talk to – is that you are going to Bali, but you are giving away some priceless information to potential thieves. Don’t be an easy target. If there are people that need to know, tell them in person or over the phone.
2. Utilize the privacy settings on your social media pages. All sites have them in some form, so ensure that your information and updates are not available to strangers, just in case someone does let something slip.
3. Be suspicious of apps on social media sites that allow you to check in at your current location, particularly the ones that use the GPS on your phone to automatically update your whereabouts without your permission. Thieves used to have to stake out your house to see when you are leaving, but today’s technology makes it all too easy for them to find your whereabouts from the comfort of their own homes.
4. Do not vent your frustrations about how the locks on your windows are broken in a status or in a tweet.
5. Be wary of posting photos of expensive new purchases. Feel free, however to talk about your strong new locks or state-of-the-art security system. You’d be surprised how a quick mention can deter potential thieves. Criminals will always pick an easy target over a potentially difficult one, and there are plenty of easy targets out there.
6. Be especially vigilant of what your children are posting. Ensure that they have their privacy options enabled. Children don’t often think about the dangers when they post things like: “Parents are gone for the weekend; house to myself!”