Tweeting your countdown to “Tropical Retreat 2017” and sharing selfies on Facebook and Instagram may be inspiring (and envy-making), but it’s like sending an embossed invitation to neighborhood criminals. To put it bluntly: advertising your vacation itinerary through tweets and posts isn’t the smartest course of action if you’re concerned about home security.
If social media is second nature, but home security is a foreign land, don’t worry, we have you covered.
Common Social Media Practices that Could Put Your Home at Risk Oversharing on Social Media
Obviously, vacation photos are a clear invitation to would-be intruders, but over sharing can be just as dangerous. Do you really need to let all of your contacts, followers, and connections know that you are the proud owner of a new home theater system? Think twice before posting your every thought, possession, and action.
Instead of checking in, make a habit of going under the radar. Every Facebook RSVP or Yelp! check-in lets potential thieves know when you’re not around. The National Crime Prevention Council writes, “Location-based services can be one of the most dangerous features provided by social networking sites. It exposes the profile user’s location and whereabouts. The service also has a feature that allows users to tag who they are with at any given time. While it can be fun to share your location with friends and family, it can also increase your vulnerability, potentially opening you up to being robbed, sexually assaulted, or worse. Predators can use this tool to track your movements and determine when you are alone or when you are not at home.”
Your new couch may be gorgeous, but posting pictures of your home makes it easy for burglars to see what big-ticket items you may own and to conduct remote reconnaissance on your home.
Brad Morehead, in an article published on the Huffington Post, notes that while pictures are a great way to document damages caused by break-ins or natural disasters, they’re for your (and your insurance agent’s) eyes only. “Damage could mean that your house security system has been compromised, that there is access to your home through a location other than a door or a window, or even that you’re not currently living there.”
Social Media Tips for Keeping Your Home Secure
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and to keep yourself abreast of the latest in real and fake news, school activities, and neighborhood events. By taking a few common-sense precautions, you can still share your ocean views with your loved ones and enjoy that poolside pina colada, knowing that your house will be safe and sound, awaiting your return.
Take a (Brief) Social Media Break
While you’re taking a break from your day-to-day existence, simply extend the break to social media. If you need social proof that you were on vacation, post an album upon your return.
Manage Your Privacy Settings
Make sure your privacy settings are limited to specific audiences and that your posts aren’t being broadcast to the world. Even if you are mindful of your own privacy settings, you should make sure you’re managing how others tag you in their posts.
Never, Ever Post Your Home Address
This one seems like a no-brainer, but have you ever taken a picture of your beautiful landscaping, new front door, or that fresh coat of paint on your picturesque porch swing? If so, the odds are pretty good that your house number has also been recorded for posterity.
You don’t need 500 Close Friends
The experts at Allstate recommend that you take the time to clean up your friend list and eliminate any names you don’t recognize. Let’s face it, if you’ve been on social media for a while, your circles may have changed as has your approach to social networking. You’ll also want to create a “Close Friends” list. Feel free to take a break from this blog and head on over to Facebook. In fact, here’s a link with instructions for creating a close friends list on Facebook. Do it now!
For more information on home security or to install an affordable home alarm system, contact NCA Alarms.