How Social Media Can Tip Off a Burglar

Social Media Habits to Keep You Safe

female at computer

Social media. It’s an ever-constant presence in our lives that allows us to stay connected to the people in our lives and see what’s going on in the world around us. It’s also a place where we document that fun things we’re doing and the amazing trips we’re taking. With summer upon us and a lot of people going away on summer vacation, it’s very tempting to post where we are and all the fun we’re having. But did you know that your post about snorkeling in the coral reef could actually spell pay day for a burglar?

Most of the time, we share with people we know, like family and friends. But, many times, there may be not so desirable people lurking on social media, just waiting for clues on your whereabouts. Here are five good social media habits that can keep your home safe while you’re on vacation:

  1. Don’t broadcast you’re out of town with lots of real-time vacation pictures. By putting out there that you’re sight-seeing in Paris for two weeks, it can be the perfect opportunity for a burglar to find out where you live and go by your house to see how secure it is. Technology today can pinpoint homes on map apps and even come up with your exact address – practically begging for a burglary to occur.
  2. Check the security and access on your social media apps. Check to make sure that your access on all your apps is set to ‘private’ - this will ensure that the information you’re sharing is only visible to your online friends and those you want to see it.

  3. Turn off location features. GPS-enabled smartphones make it easy to find directions to that new restaurant or coffee shop, but they also make it very easy for burglars to track your location. When you post to social media, the location feature will post where you are at that time. Post a lot from your vacation destination, and the burglar will know you’re out of town – the perfect time to rob you. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has more information about smartphone privacy and geotagging.

  4. Be careful who your friends are. Never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know, they could be a burglar in disguise fishing for information about when you’ll be out of town.

  5. Keep your personal information private. Don’t include personal information about yourself such as your phone number, address and birthday – this is all information a burglar could use to track you down and find your exact location.

Vacation is a time for relaxation, not worrying about whether you’re a burglar’s next target. Use these good social media habits to give you peace of mind on your next vacation!