Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives allowing us to connect with our friends, our neighbors and complete strangers like never before. There are benefits to using social media to stay in touch and informed, however it can also create security risks. Today you must consider what you are posting on social media and how it affects protecting your home.
Social Media Security Risks
- Posting information or photos of valuable items in your home. It’s tempting to post the new 3D 60-inch flat-screen TV that you purchased just before the big game, but try to resist. This could attract burglars to your home — particularly if your posts are public. Some thieves troll popular social networking sites, such as Instagram and Facebook, in hopes of finding a local treasure on someone’s page.
- Providing your family members and friends with your travel plans on social networking sites. Criminals often target their victims by identifying when they will be gone from the house for an extended period. People love to post about their upcoming vacations, where they are going, and when they will be gone. In fact, a vacation countdown post is one of the worst social media mistakes you can make. This gives thieves an opportunity to plan in advance when they will invade your home and likely, what they will take once they get there.
- Posting pictures while on vacation. This goes hand-in-hand with item number two above. Consider refraining from posting vacation pictures on social media highlighting the fact that you are away from home. Rather wait until you are safely home to post vacation pictures.
- Checking into locations and using GPS functions on your phone. “Checking in” on Facebook has become popular, however, if you don’t disable your GPS functions, your posts easily reveal your location. Criminals may be able to determine where you are — and where you aren’t — at any given time.
- Not properly utilizing social media security settings. Check your privacy settings regularly, as social networking sites frequently change their privacy policies. Keep all of your social profiles set to friends-only privacy settings, and only add people to your pages who you know and trust in real life.
- Monitor your kids’ social media activity. You may be following all of the social media rules and tips designed to protect your home and your family, but your children could be giving away your important private information. Require that your children use strict privacy settings when posting and sharing on social media. And consider making them unplug from their devices and disconnect from social media while you are away on vacation. In any case, make sure you know who they are connecting with online.
Even when you practice all of the security precautions above, break-ins can still occur. But thieves are more likely to bypass a home with a security alarm system. Consider investing in one to protect you and your family.
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>> Want more home safety tips right now? Download our free guide 10 Things You Can Do To Make Your Home More Secure.