You’re finally going on vacation and you’re excited.
Naturally, you want to tell everyone, so you do what anyone in your situation would do – you post it on facebook.
Where you’re going, when you’re going… maybe a few jealousy-inducing pictures of the fabulous resort you’ll be staying in – it all goes up on your wall. And why not? Isn’t this what social media is all about anyway – sharing your adventures with friends?
Unfortunately, the answer is both yes and no.
Sure, your friends might get a kick out of seeing what you’re up to while on holiday, but so will another group of people: thieves.
The ubiquity of social media as well as our willingness to share so much information about ourselves online means that potential burglars have a much easier time finding their next target. Instead of physically scouring the streets looking for houses that are unoccupied, wannabe robbers can now hop onto facebook or twitter to see who’s off traveling. In a few simple clicks, they can see exactly who their next victim should be.
If you think that sounds far-fetched, then you may want to read this story about a facebook post that triggered a home invasion in Australia. Basically, the story goes that a teenager who was helping her grandmother count a large wad of cash posted a picture of the money on facebook. Eight hours later, two armed men broke into the house and made off with the loot.
Now hopefully you’re not posting pictures of your cash or valuables on facebook, but it’s probably safe to assume that you have something of value in your home. So placing details of your absence on social media is in many ways as good as posting a message that your home – full of electronics, jewelry, and whatever else – is ripe for the picking.
So the moral of the story: be wary of what holiday photos or information you post online – and if you do post, make sure your privacy settings are under control.