Did you know that a run-of-the-mill criminal can break into your home in less than 60 seconds and spend less than 10 minutes stealing your possessions? And afterwards when when they know your insurance company has replaced your expensive items, that were stolen, they come back.
Telling the online world where you’re going and when you aren’t going to be at home is inviting criminals to your house. Posting that you are at the movies? Criminals now have a two hour window. At coffee? A good half hour window. Nice picture of you and the family on the beach? WIthout thinking about it you just put your home at risk. Remember to talk to your teenagers and remind them of this also. Not only do their travel plans posted online put your home at risk, your children also put themselves at risk.
Criminals are fond of constant updates, especially about your travel and movement plans. You wouldn’t stand up in the middle of a crowd and announce you’re going on vacation for a week, would you? Of course not, but that’s what you do when you post your vacation pictures and plans online.
When you go on vacation:
Get to know your neighbors before you leave on vacation. They will know who should be at your house and who shouldn't be. That little old lady down the street, that sees everything, will be your best source of protection. Tell neighbors you will be gone and leave contact numbers. Expecting someone over to feed your pets? Let them know. Use timers on your lights inside and turn the front porch light on. Stop your mail and paper service. A full paper box tells the criminals that the residents have been gone for a while. Second car in the garage? Park it in front of your house so it looks like someone is home.
Never post when, where, or how long you’ll be gone. Wait until you are home to post pictures to a vacation album.
Use highest privacy control and be selective when accepting friend requests. That person you think you know and have met once or twice, could be a seasoned criminal and you just let them have access to all your personal information. Only let certain groups, like a family group, view your photos.Be selective with the status updates. You can use an audience-selector dropdown menu on Facebook to choose certain groups to see your status updates.
Stay offline. You’re on vacation, after all. Relax and forget about the online world for a few days.
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