5 Social Media Tips To Prevent A Burglary
What do you like to do for vacation — get out of the country, stay in-state, or perhaps just have a day all to yourself out on the town? Every summer, American families start thinking about where they’d like to be when that vacation time kicks in, and one of the things they like to do once a decision has been made, is share their plans on social media.
A recent Nationwide Insurance survey revealed that 14 percent of homeowners use social media to post updates, share photos or check into locations on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare while they’re on vacation. For the age group from 18 to 34 — typically known as Generation Y — this percentage leaps to 41 percent.
Burglars are wise to this information, and according to the Nationwide report, around 78 percent of them — more than three-in-four — are using social media to choose the location of their next break-in.
Furthermore, Facebook Graph Search and other more advanced features on similar platforms make the research even easier for these hybrid cyber-and-real world criminals. Using these tools, they can quickly find out who checked in at tourist attractions or even scour timeline photos for vacation pictures.
To combat this criminal activity, here are some social media tips for how to go on vacation without coming home to an empty house.
You may be excited about the prospects of getting away from it all and having some nice relaxation time, but you really should resist the urge to announce the date, place, and duration of your vacation to fellow Facebookers and other social media types.
If you just have to brag about it, save the gloating for your close and personal friends through inbox messages, phone conversations, or face-to-face interaction, not all 936 or so of your online acquaintances.
Turn Off Location Settings.
Every smartphone, tablet, or laptop these days, comes with location services that allow you to “check in” and document where you’ve been in real time. These may seem like cool features, but they are, in reality, advertising to savvy crooks that your place is ripe for the pickings. Disable this in your settings and if you do feel the need to make a Facebook post or a tweet, it won’t be so easily searchable.
On the Facebook privacy settings, you can manage the posts and photos where you’re tagged. Disable tagged posts from automatically showing up on your timeline, or you could end up vulnerable to a burglary through no fault of your own, simply because one of your companions failed to take the threat seriously. For other social media services, you’ll want to check your settings to ensure this feature is non-existent or disabled.
Don’t Check In Or Post While On Vacation.
While it can be tempting to pull out your smartphone during a dead spot on your vacation, use that time instead to interact with your companions or the environment (if going alone). Focus your attention on creating memories instead of trying to document your travels. Besides, whenever you have your phone out, there’s a temptation to “check in” or make some post about what you’ve just experienced. These make you vulnerable.
If something is truly incredible, take a non-location service-enabled photograph of it or jot down some notes, so you can post about it later.
Save Blogging For The End-Of-Day, And Don’t Hit Publish Until You’re Home.
Believe us, we understand the need to get on your computer and forever document a visual or an experience that you captured while enjoying your vacation. Just make friends with the “save draft” feature that all blogging platforms possess. Do not hit publish. After all, you never know who’s watching.
Throughout this post, you may have noticed a pattern — no matter how awesome your vacation experience is, save sharing it on social media for later. As wonderful as it is to be connected, realize the downside, and that’s that a lot of other people are connected, too, and you can’t always trust their motivations.