If you are Facebook fiend or a Twitterholic, a Pinterest poster or inveterate Instagramer, it is probably an instinctive reaction to post your latest exploits on social media for all the world to see. It’s never been easier to take a photo or post a comment that can be instantly seen by your friends and work colleagues.
Here I am on holiday! Having a great time! Posting an update on your timeline has become the easy equivalent of sending out a postcard. And most of us now do it without thinking of the consequences.
The problem is that, where postcards were sent to specific individuals and usually arrived after you had returned from holiday, posts on social media are instant and almost anyone can see them if they are associated with your account. And, as we all should know, not everyone on social media has our best interests at heart.
Why You Should Think Twice Before Posting Your Holiday Snaps!
Posting that you are away from home can make it easy for burglars who can simply have a trawl through your timeline and find out quite a lot of information about you, including where you live. They may not have your exact address but they will know that you are local. Then there’s that picture of you and the kids outside your house or that post you did about your neighbour at number 32.
Burglars are not just opportunistic individuals passing by your house on any given day. They actually use quite sophisticated methods to choose their targets. For instance, some use Google maps to have a look at particular areas, others will pick a target or number of targets and then follow them on social media (it’s easier than you think) and with platforms increasingly showing where users are posting from it’s easy for thieves to gauge how long you are going to be away from your home.
If you want to stay safe and not be a victim of these insidious beings then it is a good idea not to post your holiday photos ‘carte blanche’. You might want to have a look at not sharing your location when you tweet or post on Facebook or upload a photo to Instagram. You can also change your settings so that posts are only shared with people you consider close friends or family.
Most of us take our involvement with social media for granted nowadays and it’s a great tool for communicating, both for individuals and for businesses. But along with that greater freedom we all also need to take more care and make sure that the settings we have mean our details are not thrown out to every person who happens to attach themselves to our account.
If you haven’t checked your social media settings in a while then now is the time to do so. And if you have photos of your holiday to share, perhaps it would be better to wait until you are back home before you do so.