How holiday happy snaps could compromise your home security
Social media platforms are a well-entrenched aspect of everyday life for many people to share news, express opinions, stay in touch with friends – and make them green with envy by posting holiday happy snaps from exotic beachside locations and dream destinations.
Australian social media users are amongst the most active in the world, with recent research showing that about 60% of the nation’s population (estimated to be about 15 million) are active users on Facebook, with 50% of users logging onto Facebook at least once a day to see the latest news and posts.
But for those social media users who haven’t spent time making sure their online security as best as it can be, the information and imagery they share can be an open invitation to a criminal wanting to strike when they are away – especially when they leave their house unoccupied.
Here are a few tips to consider before heading off on holiday:
Open house invitation
There are plenty of applications that let users promote their location, but what doing that also does is advertise that you aren’t home and shouldn’t be expected back anytime soon. That’s why it’s a good idea to turn off the GPS function on your phone when not in use as another way to protect yourself from making accidental references to your location.
Check your security settings.
Privacy settings can change from time to time, and sometimes without warning – so before you head off check your settings to make sure you aren’t sharing your private information with unwelcome eyes.
Log out before heading out
Log out of any personal accounts on your home computer too before going away, because if someone manages to access your home computer then chances are that they can access your personal information and social media accounts, which are likely to contain travel plans.
Beware the fake friend
Life should not be about the number of likes, shares and follows you get – which is why you need to be careful not to accept people who you don’t genuinely know. Not everyone has good intentions, and someone you met virtually through an online social media friend could use the information you share online to track down your home and take what isn’t theirs.
Think about enabling a two-factor authentication on your social media platforms because it will prevent anyone who might have your password from accessing your accounts. When someone enters your password, the social platform will recognise that it has been made from a new device and send your phone a notification.
Remember that less is more
The world might be a stage, but social media isn’t the best platform to overshare, so restrict the amount of personal information you put on social media – especially details like your home or work address, phone numbers, where you work, and any other personal information that can be used to target you. Remove GPS coordinates from any pictures you post.
Remember, it’s never a good idea to post a picture of your passport or boarding pass – even if you are super excited.
Don’t forget the basics
A few basic security precautions around the home as part of your holiday getaway preparations can also go a long way towards keeping thieves at bay and your property protected. Take time to double-check that windows and doors are locked, and make sure that sheds, garage doors, and side gates are also secure. If you have a security system or sensor lights, have them turned on. Hide those spare keys, cancel the newspaper delivery and ask a trusted friend to keep an eye on your place and empty the letterbox until you get back.