For some, social media sharing has a life of its own. Social media sharing is a way to stay in touch with friends, share a happy occasion, a fun event, a cute pet, or showcase our work. So it’s only natural to share your vacation or travels out of town. But how can social media sharing affect your home security?
Keep Travel Plans to Yourself
Or at least, don’t share specific travel plans on social media platforms. Criminals can target victims after having identified they will be away from home. Sharing specific itinerary information tells burglars where you will be and when – leaving your home wide open to potential crime. Using a very general location for your travel destination is a bit safer than your specific destination. Although it’s tempting to post cool travel images in the moment, it may be safer to post them when you’ve returned home.
Boarding Pass Risks
These days boarding passes are often paperless and on your phone. But sharing an old-school paper boarding pass can also open you up to crimes.
With today’s technology, a savvy burglar may be able to figure out your birthday, phone number and other data. The flight number or booking number gives them info about your itinerary. Again, this information gives burglars an invitation to break in when you’re gone.
Check the Check Ins and Updates
Although retailers often offer discounts upon “check-in,” it can provide a burglar with information that you’re not home and will be gone for a while. This is even more relevant if you are a regular at a restaurant, library, gym, etc. Someone combing through social media can gather information about your regular whereabouts and target your home at those times.
Understand Your Location Services
Often people make it a point to share their location when posting to social media. You can also be sharing this information without realizing it if your phone’s Location Services are enabled. If enabled, you will share your location automatically whether you intend it or not – another way of alerting others that you’re not home.
Limit Private Info on Your Profile
Sometimes your contact info (phone number, email, address) is necessary; but often, on your personal social media accounts, it’s probably not. Some profile info is more about data gathering of the platform and no one else’s business. Be aware that burglars can glean information for criminal activity using this profile information.
Shiny New Thing Photos
How exciting is it to share posts of your new car, computer, bike, new TV or the newest gaming system? Or share a video of your family gathering. Seems innocent enough, but images of valuable items can tempt burglars. Especially if you’re sharing to “public” (everyone) rather than “Close Friends” or a close group of friends.
Bad Idea and Bad Form
Besides being in poor taste, sharing posts of a paycheck, cash, credit cards, gift cards, or other forms of commerce, posting these is just inviting crime. It can increase your chances of getting mugged or assaulted in some other way. Make sure you know what’s in your photo background – are you somewhere identifiable? Other financial things to not share: your bank or other financial institution, cash checking locations, etc.
Social Media Sharing and Other Crime
Oversharing on social media can make you and your location easier to pinpoint to anyone who may want to harm you. When others “tag” you, it also exposes your location or those who know where you are. If you are in any danger for fear of danger, be very cautious about social media posting.
Social Media Privacy
Make sure your privacy settings are not so public. For instance, on Facebook, if what you post – next to the timestamp – includes a globe icon, it means everyone in the world can see it. Sharing to just your friends or a certain group makes the information in your post more secure.
Be Mindful of Child Safety
Posting private information and pictures of your kids increase their safety risk. A photo of a school or team event gives more info than we realize, so make sure to share to very select groups of people when it comes to children. Avoid posting your child’s names, birthdays, and schools. And always get permission when sharing images of other kids who are recognizable in your photos.
This also goes for others who are in your photos – some people do not appreciate their image on social media. An innocuous image could be placing them in a difficult position unknowingly.
Smart Social Media Sharing
While social media gives us many networking opportunities and other incredible benefits (sharing info about crime and natural disasters in real time, for instance), we need to remember to be prudent and cautious when we use them. Oversharing on social media can compromise your home security and personal safety more than you realize.
If you’re a current and verified CMP customer and leave for work or pleasure, we offer a Vacation Watch patrol while you’re gone. Send in a Vacation Watch Request form, we will make arrangements to keep your home safe.
Did you know? After gaining entrance to your home, the typical burglar stays
approximately only 8-10 minutes –
but can cause you hours upon hours of inconvenience in recovery and/or repair,
not to mention the toll on your emotional and mental health.