#SeasonalSafety: Think Before You Post
With time off from work and school, the holidays are an ideal time to travel. People go to the mountains for skiing, visit grandparents and relatives across the country, or even use this time to travel to another country, or enjoy some time on a cruise ship. And of course, as we Floridians know, hundreds of people flock to our beautiful beaches and towns to escape the wintery weather.
No matter where you go, you’ll want to share pictures and stories with your friends who are stuck at home. Social media websites and apps, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, are the perfect way to share your adventures with your friends. Before you post, snap, or check in, though, you should remember that the whole world might be watching.
According to a study by Time, an estimated 78% of burglars use social media to find vulnerable homes. When you post that you’re away for the week, your friends might love the pictures, or jealously comment. But for a sneaky burglar, your post shows that you’re away, leaving your home empty and unprotected. When you share that you’re away from home, it’s potentially a big neon sign for unscrupulous characters that says “I’m not home, come break in!”
This doesn’t mean forsaking social media forever. It just means that you should be aware of the consequences of pushing that share button. Before even leaving for vacation, review the privacy settings on all your social media accounts. Set them to private. This means that only people you approve can view your posts. Do not accept requests from people you don’t know. Check your tagging settings on Facebook, too. Set it so that you cannot be tagged in any photos without your approval. This way, if a family member or friend tags you in a vacation post, you can wait to make it public until you’re safely back at home. While you’re playing it safe on vacation, this stops someone else from inadvertently giving your location away.
When traveling, disable the locations settings on your social media apps, so that your geographic location does not show up in your posts. Resist the urge to “check-in” at new locations on social media.
While on vacation, take as many pictures as you want, or keep a journal about your exciting memories, but wait to share it all until you get home. Isn’t vacation about spending your time with family, or finally getting some time to relax? You don’t want to spend the whole time glued to your phone, anyway!
Have a neighbor or nearby friend check on your home. They can be on the lookout for suspicious activity, and pick up your mail or any packages. It will give you some extra piece of mind to know that someone is looking out for your house.
When posting on social media, use common sense, and always consider the implications and consequences of your post. You don’t want to return from a relaxing vacation to find that your house has been broken into!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.