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Don’t announce your plans online
“Finally going to Italy May 10-29!” you might caption an Instagram or Facebook photo months in advance. If your social media platforms are public, you’re giving plenty of strangers the opportunity to plan for a break-in. And even if they’re not, an acquaintance might mention it, with the information getting in the wrong hands.
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Solution 1: Post old photos
While you’re on vacation, occasionally post ambiguous images of you or your family and friends at your home to throw off any potential burglars following you on social media.
Solution 2: Post photos of your house sitter
If you absolutely must post photos of your trip, or are required to do it for work (such as lifestyle blogging), then a good way to keep the burglars away is to post sporadic photos of your home, pets, and even house sitter. You can post captions like, “So grateful we have a wonderful house sitter watching over our home for the next week!”
Solution 3: Get on a neighborhood app
Finally, there’s a perk to all your nosy neighbors! If you have an app like Nextdoor, the free private social media network for your neighborhood community, you can keep a lookout for any lurkers in your area, since people post suspicious activity all the time. If anything comes up, you should have a select few trusted sources to keep an eye out for your vacant home.
Log out of your accounts
Log out of your personal accounts on your computers at home, ensuring you have a protective password. Personal information on there could relay your travel plans, or give people passwords to safes and more in the home. You should also log out of your personal social media accounts on any public computers you use while traveling.
Disable location settings
Have you ever noticed that, when on Facebook, a little bar pops up on your Newsfeed that shows you where people are traveling? It can show people traveling simply an hour away for the day, or off to another country. Do you really want people to know this information about you … ever? Especially while on vacation, it’s best to disable your location settings on all your social media channels.
Only accept friend requests from friends
Your social life might have your friend requests on social media skyrocketing, but be careful not to accept people who you don’t genuinely know. Not everyone has the best of intentions, and someone who you met through a friend of a friend very briefly could come across your personal life and track down your home.
Enable two-factor authentication
If you are posting your travels merely with trusted friends in private messages on your social media platforms, you should be sure no one else can access your account. That means enabling two-factor authentication on your social media platforms. With this, no one on another computer, phone, etc., can access your account just because they know your password, as the platform will recognize it’s a new device and send your phone a notification.
Get your kids on board
You may put in all the work to ensure your social media doesn’t relay your vacation information but are your kids playing along? You’ll want to make sure you go through all of these steps with them to be safe.
Great article by Alexa Erickson for the Reader’s Digest