Social Media & Home Security: Are Your Posts Leaving You Vulnerable?
August 01, 2016
Social media has certainly changed our lives in the last decade and a half. For the most part, these have been good changes that involve facilitating rapid communication and the spread of vital information. As we continue to learn more and more about the information we share and how it is perceived by what could potentially be a global audience, we are also coming to the realization that just because a person can share information, doesn't mean it is always wise to do so.
When it comes to your own home security, what you post online could be leaving your home and your family vulnerable. Yes, we all know there is a very real danger of online identity theft, and that cybersecurity is an important issue that deserves due consideration, but that is not exactly what we're referring to. We’re talking about those seemingly harmless status updates, which may be announcing to criminals that your home is unoccupied, and therefore, less secure.
Consider carefully before you post the following:
- Travel Plans - Yes, we understand that you are looking forward to going out of town this weekend, but be cautious about announcing
to the world when your home will be standing empty. If you must post about your weekend away, post about it after the fact, not before.
- Check-Ins - If your social media site of choice allows you to check-in at various restaurants, theme parks, museums, or other attractions,
do so with caution. Checking-in at a site could signify that your home is unoccupied, especially if it is a notable distance from your home. If
you must check-in, do so as you are leaving, not upon arrival.
- Solitude - Since one of the purposes of social media is to connect people, it is not uncommon for those who are lonely to announce on social media sites that they miss their family, their dog, or even their own bed. If you tend to turn to social media when you are traveling alone, or when the other members of your household are away, be aware that you may be setting yourself up as a potential target. Instead of proclaiming online that your house is quiet when your kids and husband are away, call a trusted friend for a real conversation.
In addition to announcing that your home is unoccupied or unsecured, intruders and thieves may also read between the lines of your social media updates, and be drawn to your home in search of the big-ticket items that they believe may be found on the premises. Be cautious about posting about the following:
- Recent Gifts or Purchases - Those handy little cameras, now included in even the most basic cell phones, tempt us to snap pictures
of everything that we find delightful. With the push of a button, we can share a photo with everyone we know, via multiple social media outlets.
Think twice about posting a picture of that diamond studded tennis bracelet you gave your wife for her birthday, or a picture of the Liberty Seated
Quarter from the 1800's that is the newest addition to your coin collection.
- Identifying Information - Sure, social media platforms will ask for some identifying information when you setup your account, but be cautious about what you reveal to those who read your status updates. People who need to know your birthday, mother's maiden name, birthplace, address, or phone number will probably already know it. Never give out your social security number on any social media platform.
Don't let your participation in social media make you or your home a target. Implement these simple suggestions, and contact us to learn more about the powerful home security solutions we offer.