Whether it’s a week away or just a weekend road trip, taking a vacation away from home is the perfect time to get away from it all. No matter what your plans are, you’ll may want share them with your friends on social media. Be careful about how much you share and when you share it. Otherwise, your trip might send trouble right to your front door.
Many travelers post updates on social media during their trip. While it’s tempting to share the highlights of your vacation, you could be updating more people than you realize. Your photos and updates could notify potential thieves your home is unattended.
What can you do to protect your home and belongings while you’re away? Keep the following in mind:
- Limit your network: Set your social media privacy settings so only your friends can view any content you post. While it just takes a second to accept new contacts online, you should only add friends you actually know in real life. Be aware of any changes to your account’s privacy settings and restrict who can access your information.
- Mindful content: Try not to announce any vacation plans ahead of time or while you’re away. You should always wait until after you return to share details or photos of your trip. Never post photos that reveal your address, neighborhood or landmarks near your home and avoid posting any photos showing expensive items in your home.
- Be proactive: Security experts recommend using social media to fool potential burglars. Instead of posting a photo of a beautiful sunset from your resort, take a moment to check in to a local coffee shop from back home or write a quick update on your day at work. Create the appearance its business as usual, especially if you’re a regular social media user. It only takes a minute but it can deter thieves from targeting your home.
- Secure your home: Always make your home look occupied. Set timers for your lights and arrange for a neighbor or friend to collect your mail while you’re gone. Never leave a secret key hidden under your doormat- burglars know exactly where to look and this is as good as an invitation into your home. Arrange to have someone check on your home regularly, especially if you will be gone for more than three days. This is a requirement for insurance and ensures your policy remains valid.
- Don’t forget insurance: Make sure theft coverage is included in your policy. Take inventory of your valuable possessions, including photos, descriptions of each item and the date it was purchased. Should anything be stolen, this information will help you get proper reimbursement from the insurance company.