To say that an ever-growing number of people are becoming addicted to social media is a colossal understatement! Countless millions desperately seek, and apparently feel that they are receiving, social affirmation by baring every facet of their sometimes mundane existence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and other popular platforms.
Yet it seems not too many stop to consider the impact “over-sharing” has on their home and personal security. It is only wise to assume that anyone with malicious intentions against you or members of your family will first try to gain intelligence via your social media accounts before making their move.
Here are some common sense tips to guide your social media activities during the holidays:
- Do not announce your Christmas vacation plans online! Avoid letting criminals know in advance that your home will be empty during certain dates. Even if you omit the exact dates of your absence, it does not take a genius to figure out what those dates are likely to be.
- Similarly, avoid positing photos that would suggest that your home has been left unattended. Take note that potential burglars who are already targeting your home, or who are actively scouting for “soft targets” in your neighborhood, can mobilize and act quickly.
- Avoid at all cost posting photos of the valuable items you have purchased or the expensive Christmas gifts you have received. You do not owe the general public this kind of personal information, and they only serve as a dare or an open challenge to would-be evil-doers.
- Avoid posting photos exposing details of your home’s interior and security set-up. Limit your posts to close up shots that do not reveal what kind of locks and security devices you have, the location of your valuables, the easiest way to break-in, and/or other exploitable vulnerabilities.
- Make sure your children are onboard with efforts to mitigate your family’s social media exposure. It does not matter how much social media restraint the parents practice if their teenage children serve as criminals’ unwitting tipsters on the household’s movements and vulnerabilities!
Bear in mind that the so-called “privacy settings” in your social media platform are totally useless if the relatives and friends who have access to your posts will wantonly “share” such supposedly confidential information. Stay safe!