Social Media and Your Home’s Security.
We all know how much fun it is to post and share pictures of our many travels for all our friends and family to see, and drool over. Followed by comments like, “It’s so beautiful there…” and, “How long are you there for?” and “When do you come back?” It’s all just so innocent and fun, isn’t it?
But we just might be surprised, or more likely shocked, to know who else might be scrolling through our vacation pics. Whether we like it or not, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are convenient information re-sources for thieves, and it’s all free and untraceable for them. This means that while we’re sipping margaritas on the beach and listening to Jimmy Buffett, a thief could be loading his van with all of our valuables back home.
That’s right, while law enforcement is using social media to solve crimes, thieves are using it to commit them. Scary isn’t it? But does this mean we should never post a vacation picture ever again? While that would certainly work, it might be a little extreme. So how do we protect ourselves and our possessions from these social media stalkers?
The following are a few simple suggestions we can use to protect our homes while away, and still have fun on social media.
The first thing we need to think about is our post comments. Telling the cyber world that we’re leaving Boston and headed to Maui tomorrow morning is probably a little more specific than necessary. A simple, “Looking forward to our trip…” would make it harder to pinpoint when we’ll be gone. And adding that, “We’re flying home tomorrow!” tells the thieves they better get to work tonight.
The timing of our vacation posts can make a big difference too. For example, posting our pictures after the fact or when we get home will take care of the problem all together.
Another way to protect ourselves from prying eyes is through our social media Privacy settings. Facebook, twitter, and Instagram all offer convenient privacy modes. On Instagram you can simply change your account to “Private” when you leave Boston and back again when you return home. Facebook allows you to set who can see each post before you even share it. And for all you Twitter fanatics, the little blue bird also allows you to change your setting to private and back.
So the next time your lounging on the beach and posting selfies, take a moment to think about possible consequences.