Social Media and Home Security

In today’s digital age, everyone is eager to share the intimate, exciting, and even uncomfortable details of their lives. But with this new transparency, where does personal and home security come into play? Can we have both social media and safety?

Telling the online world where you’re going and when you aren’t at home is inviting burglars to your house.  Did you know that a run-of-the-mill burglar can break into your home in less than 60 seconds and spend less than 10 minutes stealing your possessions?

Many of us are taking the appropriate measures to ensure that our home and loved ones remain safe. Installing alarms, security cameras, motion sensors, and deadbolts. However, physical safety can be compromised by what we do and share online. Here are some tips to follow on social media to ensure that you are not putting yourself and your home at risk:

  1. Vacations

The vacation countdown on social media is one of the most common and most dangerous mistakes that people make online. Going away on vacation is exciting and worthy of a little bragging rights. However, broadcasting the day you leave and sharing photos while you’re away, lets burglars know that your home is vacant for an extended period of time. This is the perfect opportunity for a break-in. Be sure to stay mindful of how much detail you provide online about your travel plans and avoid posting sun-filled photos until after you return home.

  1. Check-Ins

When you’re eating out at a new restaurant or checking into an airport, it is common that people “check in” to their location online. This is a fun way to share where you are and what you’re doing with your friends. However, this information can easily fall into the wrong hands, as it tells everyone where you are in real time. This lets burglars know when you are out of your house and creates an opportunity for a crime. The more we share online, the more vulnerable our home and our safety becomes.

  1. Snapchat

Have you turned off your Snap Map? Most people don’t realize that the popular app Snapchat, records users’ locations and shares it with all of their friends. The ‘Snap Map’ shares the exact location of users at all times of the day, following them from their homes to work and even out of town. Without adjusting your security settings, you could unknowingly be sharing your exact location at all times with hundreds of people, and identifying where your home is and when you are away. Take the time to toggle off the app’s function of sharing your location.

  1. Valuables

Did you get a brand new T.V. for Christmas? Did you spoil yourself with expensive jewelry? Sharing photos of new purchases or luxury gifts is a common practice across all social media channels. However, these pictures provide criminals with a view into what valuables they can find inside of your home. Think twice before sharing pictures publicly, as you never know whose eyes it may fall upon.

It is important to be mindful about what we share and who we share it with when online. Take a second or two to think about the possible consequences of sharing certain information and photos online. If you wouldn’t tell a crowd of strangers that you will be away for a week, you probably shouldn’t tell everyone on Facebook. Effective home security in 2018 now includes more than alarms and locks, it should also be reinforced by our smart and savvy social media practises.