As you’re admiring the breathtaking sunsets and beautiful scenic landscapes while capturing them with your smartphone and sharing them on your social media outlets, the risk that you’re putting yourself and your family at is activated.
Though it’s tempting to share a photo of your son climbing on a historic landscape or frolicking on the beach, it can be an advertisement for burglars saying “I’m not home! So, feel free to stop by and see what cool things you can take from my empty home!”
A recent survey, conducted by Friedland, reveals that 4 out of 5 burglars use Facebook and Twitter to select their victims. They further point out that 78% of burglars search media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare as their means of selecting their targets. 54% percent also go on to say that homeowners updating their status and whereabouts on social media sites is a common mistake.
Here are 6 Social Media Vacation Safety Tips to help decrease your chances of becoming a burglary victim while on vacation.
1. Avoid announcing your vacation on social media
This sounds much easier than one would think, but when you’re faced with expressing your shear excitement for your vacation and want to share it with everyone, it’s difficult to hold back.
The safe way to deal with this dilemma is to tell family and close friends and neighbors that you will be on vacation. You can ask your neighbors to keep their eye on your home. This can minimize the likelihood of the news of your vacation to be overheard by the wrong ears.
2. Disable location-identifying settings on your phone and social media platforms
By disabling this feature, it will ensure that your phone isn’t sharing where you are at any given time. For example, if you’re at a local pub, your phone will automatically map-out where you’re at (using the GPS on your phone) and when you’re on your social media platform posting or texting with friends or family, it’ll automatically share your location.
3. Enable Facebook tagging settings
We all know that one person who loves to post their every move on Facebook, and they’re not afraid of taking others down with them. By enabling the tag review feature in Facebook, it allows you to review every post that you’re tagged in whether it’s a status update or picture. This helps ensure your safety and allows you to enjoy your vacation a little more knowing that someone won’t be posting on your behalf.
While on Vacation
4. Avoid checking into Locations
Social media platforms conveniently allows their members to check-in to where they are currently at. For instance, if you are at your favorite restaurant, and you’re checking into Foursquare, your friends will know exactly where you’re at and burglars will know exactly where you aren’t.
5. Capture the amazing moments-schedule post-sharing for future
Though it’ll be tempting to not share an exciting moment that was captured on your smartphone, it’s important not to share that moment immediately. Rather than sharing them right away, schedule them to be shared at a later date when you know you’re going to be home. This will ensure that burglars won’t see those pictures of you enjoying a cocktail on the beach when you’re actually on the beach.
6. Blog now but publish after vacation
One way to get around the temptation of over-posting while on vacation is to blog each days events. This will allow you to capture the emotions you may have felt during that exact moment. You can then schedule the posts you wrote while on vacation to publish at a later date. It’s smart to schedule it to post when you’re home from vacation.
Once you get home, you can go crazy with sharing all of the excitement of your vacation. If you haven’t already scheduled posts and/or pictures to automatically post, then go ahead and do that now. You won’t regret saving the social media posts until after your vacation because you’re preventing yourself and your family from becoming victims of burglary.
According to the FBI, there was 2,103,787 burglaries in 2012 so understanding these statistics will give you a greater appreciation for taking a vacation from social media while on vacation. Don’t be part of the statistics. Play it safe and while doing that, enjoy time with your family without the distraction of social media!
Photo Credit: Danielle Jones