Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are popular forums for sharing special moments, life adventures and family vacations. While you may be encouraged to bring your entire following along for the ride, consider that you could end up sharing well beyond your intended circle of friends or followers.
According to a 2011 survey on home security, 78% of burglars admitted to using social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, to seek out and select possible victims—and this was 3 years ago! As the digital age progresses, and audiences on these networks expand, utilization of these channels for less than honorable reasons is sure to be even higher.
Below, we share seven social media quick tips to play it safe and help protect your family’s valued possessions when you have to leave them behind.
1) Keep your vacation plans or travel intentions – not even “Heading out for night out on the town!” – private. These kinds of messages or notifications only invite technology-savvy thieves who actively search keywords on Facebook and other social media platforms to target your home.
2) If you’re a Foursquare fan, you might want to forego it. Vacation time or other activities that leave your home unguarded may not be the most ideal time for broadcasting your whereabouts. Nothing say’s “rob me” like sharing your exact location.
3) Keep your pics off Instagram, Facebook and other social sharing sites until you are back home. Use your time away to snap away, and organize your photo sharing plans for publish upon your return.
4) To avoid the potential of a break-in, never post pictures of expensive souvenirs or other valuables online. Such pics will only increase your chances of becoming a target.
6) Turn off location sync capabilities on your mobile device. Having location identification in play on your phone can make you susceptible to tracking, as well as tag your location on social media posts. So, even if you don’t say you’re away, a simple post about anything can actually sound the alert that you’re away.
7) Make sure that you share these safety tips with your entire social media household. Teens especially have a penchant for sharing special plans and photos instantaneously, not thinking of a potential downside. And this includes posting on Instagram. Educate them on why it could be important to wait.