by Lisa George
Your bags are packed, your sun hat is on and you are just about to check your luggage in but before you post a selfie tagging yourself at the airport, you might just want to have a quick rethink. Many burglars stake out a property before they make a move and some of them are also watching your activities on social media. So just before you hit send and tell the world that you are away, consider these social media safety tips.
Check Your Privacy Settings
Most people are quite savvy about their social media privacy but there is still a bit of confusion about what is okay and what could be risky. Make sure that you are only telling those closest to you what your plans are and be wary of posting things to a public audience.
Do regular checks on your privacy settings to make sure that they are secure and that nothing has changed recently. You may also wish to turn off features like geotagging which automatically attach your location to posts and pictures. While this feature is usually harmless, it could give a burglar an idea of what your usual routine is as well as inform them of the great time you are having on holiday!
Be Selective About Your Friends
Most sites will allow you to be selective about your friends and who can see what. You can post on social media to be seen only by best friends, for example, or you can post to friends of friends too. The fewer people who know your whereabouts, the safer you are likely to be, so try to be selective about who you are friends with online as well as who can see what.
You should never accept a friend request from someone you have never met before and you should be hesitant to accept people you have only just met too. Chances are they won’t be potential burglars but if you don’t know them, you can’t know for sure. Along the same thread, you should also delete friends you no longer talk to or have any interest in. This sounds harsh, but do you really need your whole year six class online or can you just let them go?
Be Careful What You Post
Keeping your social circle up to date with your holidays is like a modern postcard and there’s no reason not to share your excitement – just don’t be too specific about the details. Your friends don’t all need to know your flight times or when your neighbour will be popping in to feed the cat. The more generic and less specific the better – in fact, the best option is to post all about it when you are back home again.
Social media is a great tool for staying in touch with friends and sharing your life, but it can also be the perfect tool for a burglar who wants to know when you are away and how long they will have to empty your house. With just a few security checks and a bit of sensitivity, you could make your home a lot safer.
For more tips and advice for keeping safe and secure at home and whilst your away, see our library of articles and blogs aimed at helping you to protect your possessions and loved ones. Or to take action now, call us for a free security appraisal.