Social media has us sharing everything about our lives. People who are going on a vacation will often announce their impending trip on social media, they’ll post photos from the airport—sometimes even posting a pic of their boarding pass—and then post a stream of pics at various locations through their trip.
While friends of the vacationer may be entertained by all the pics and posts, there’s a segment of society that’s extremely interested in your getaway, but for all the wrong reasons. Criminals love seeing the pics you’re taking on your vacation, because it means you’re not home, making you a likely target for a home invasion.
Before social media, criminals would troll the obituaries in newspapers, which contained a wealth of information. They not only told who had passed away, but when the funeral was going to take place. Criminals would get the address of the deceased and break into their home just before the funeral was scheduled to start, knowing that, for a few hours, they’d probably have the place all to themselves.
Thanks to criminals’ proficiency on social media, thieves can not only keep track of your getaways, they can see the items you have in your home, see the location of the items they plan on stealing, and they can easily make a map of your home through visual cues in your pics.
Last year, when Kim Kardashian West posted photos of her jewels online, a veteran criminal was paying attention and following her on social media. Thanks to Kardashian’s many posts, the thief said, he knew when she was arriving in Paris, and where she was staying, telling police, “You just had to look at the internet and you knew everything, absolutely everything.”
There are a couple of ways to keep criminals out of your home when you’re away. One thing you can do is to not post information about your trip on social media. You can share all the details after you return home. Since, for many people, it’s nearly impossible to not talk about an upcoming vacation, or to not post photos from some exotic location, here are a few other precautions one can take:
Turn Location Services Off for Social Media Sites
If they know where you are, criminals can estimate the time they have to clean you out. This isn’t just a vacation tip—make it a general rule, even when you’re not leaving the house. If, for example, you’re tweeting from home with Precise Location enabled or you click Check In on Facebook, criminals can easily discover where you live. And if you then tweet a photo of your new 60-inch TV, you should be certain it’s insured because it’s not going to be around long. Turn location services off and avoid letting the world know where you are.
Don’t Let Your Kids Tell the World Where You Are
You can take all the precautions you want, but if your kids are posting vacation photos with location services on, the criminals will still figure out you’re not home. It’s difficult to convince kids to refrain from using social media, so try to convey the danger of over-sharing. You can also employ the use of apps—many of them free—to monitor kids.
Monitor Your Home From Wherever You Are
Of course, the best thing to do is to keep your home safe using alarms and monitors. Connect Security has a variety of door, motion, glass break, smoke and heat sensors that can be monitored from anywhere in the world. We also have indoor, outdoor, and front-door surveillance cameras that can continuously record, many with night vision, so you can watch your home from anytime, anywhere. Our Wi-Fi Doorbell Camera includes a digital speaker and microphone that lets you see and speak to visitors, so they are unable to tell if you’re on the other side of the door or the other side of the globe. Use the Wi-Fi Doorbell in conjunction with our Automated Keypad, and you have total control of your entryway.
Whether you’re going away for a month or an evening, or even when you’re planning on staying home, let Connect Security help keep your loved ones and your belongs safe from intruders. Get in touch with us today.