Social Media & Beyond: Beware Sharing Your Holiday Plans

Travel woman using smartphone at airport.Social media was practically made for those great shots you’ll take during your holiday vacation, from visiting the family in the next state over to celebrating the dead of winter on a warm tropical beach. It’s really tempting to let friends, family, and online strangers know exactly where and what you’re up to when you’re on vacation. However, if you’re leaving your home for the holidays, you may be laying out the welcome mat for burglary by announcing your absence on social media.

How Important is Social Media to You?

The first question to ask yourself is if you can resist the temptation to post to social media about your plans or during your vacation. If you can, think about making a collage or slideshow when you get back, allowing everyone to see all your photos at once instead of in several different posts. If you can’t resist posting while you’re away, think about adjusting your privacy settings, such as on Facebook making your account only visible to friends, or on Twitter and Instagram avoid hashtags that show you’re away (such as #vacation).

Don’t Share Exact Vacation Information

When posting to social media, remember that it is by all accounts a public space. As such, it’s wise to both withhold some specific information, as well as keeping other parts vague. If you need to provide exact information, do it in a private message or on the phone. When posting, think about keeping the following information out:

  • That Everyone is Gone: While you’re probably taking everyone with you, don’t tell people that your home will be empty.
  • Home Address: Don’t include your home address, including posting images or apps that show your home address, such as showing the distance between your home and vacation destination.
  • Place You’re Traveling To: Just like with above, it’s never a good idea to give out exact location information. Also, this will let people know how far away you are.
  • Departure and Arrival: Try not to give out exact information on when you are leaving and returning. Without this information, people won’t know exactly when your home is empty.

Prepare Your Home to Make Burglars Second Guess

Another valuable tool is to make sure your home looks occupied, even when it’s not. The following tips are pulled from our articles 8 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Vacation and Safety Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Vacation, so make sure to check them out for more information:

  • Lights and Sound: Put one or more lights on a timer to turn on and off during the day, or even have a motion sensor. Likewise, you can leave the radio turned on while you’re away.
  • Mail and Packages: Make sure that you have your mail stopped for your vacation, and have any arriving packages picked up by a friend or neighbor.
  • Neighbor and Cars: Speaking of neighbors, if you’re friends with one, it might be worth asking them to check on your home occasionally, or even park there while you’re away.

Wherever you’re going these holidays, just remember to think before you post. By being mindful of social media and taking a few steps around the house, you can be ready to leave with peace of mind. Another useful tool is Homeowners and Renters Insurance, which can provide coverage for possessions and home damage in the event of a burglary. Learn more about these insurance policies by contacting the TJ Woods Insurance Agency today.