I know Spring Break is coming up for many of you. So I felt compelled to provide this public service announcement for the good of your homes and the things you own. It’s really simple. Keep your travel plans to yourself. I know that you may feel the urge to post a message on Facebook like “I’m leaving on a plane to Hawaii for a week. See you when I get back.” But what you’re really posting is “My home will be empty for the next week. Here’s your chance to rob me of everything I own.”
Even when you get to your destination, be careful what you post. I know that you may be tempted to share a photo of you and your companions having cocktails on the white sandy beaches of Aruba or Jamaica. But that photo may be the clue that a burglar needs to realize that he’s got plenty of time to get to your place and “take inventory.” If you must share your pics, do it when you get back. I promise they will be just as interesting and exciting then.
This advice is not only good for when you go on vacation but also during your everyday life. Even some of the most subtle messages can tip a potential burglar that your home will be vacant during a certain period of time. Tweeting something like “My commute was longer today than usual” is an indicator that you have left the house and are likely to be gone for at least 8 hours. Looking forward to a happy hour with friends after work? Avoid posting to your entire Facebook wall exactly where you and your friends will be for 2 – 3 hours after work. My advice is that you send a direct message only to the people who you’d really like to join you. Then tag everyone that was there when you get home.
Oh, one more thing. Make sure you check your privacy settings on Facebook. Especially when it comes to tagging and check-ins. You could be out somewhere and a friend checks in with a mobile phone and lists you as being there as well. Keep the knowledge of your whereabouts under your control.
The infographic below points out that 78% of burglars use Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to target potential homes. Don’t let it be you that’s next on their hit list. The image also includes some additional tips for keeping your home and belongings secure from burglary. How are you ensuring that your home is safe from hi-tech social media burglars?