Why Posting Your Vacation Plans Online is a Bad Idea
For many people, the best part of going on vacation is bragging about it. Some people love to post every exciting moment to various social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Tumbler. Sharing vacation fun with followers and getting likes makes the experience sweeter for many people. The followers on your accounts may be people you actually know and many more that you kind of know and others who are total strangers. Other people don’t post pics of their actual vacation time, but they will post excited messages that they are going on vacation on social media. There are even people who create entire blogs based on vacations or traveling, for which they earn a living from advertisers, affiliate links, and marketing companies.
If you keep most of your information private and none of your followers know where you live or what your home address is, then it’s probably ok to post your time away from home on social media. The chances are very good that someone on your social media account does know your home address, or can easily find it by doing a simple google search of your first and last name. You should do a google search of yourself to see if your home address comes up. If your home address is online, there are companies called internet removal services that can remove google search results; they can also delete information from the internet and remove your address from the internet. This is helpful even if you’re not on vacation as it keeps your private data secure.
Once someone knows you’re away on vacation, however, and has your home address, they can target your home for a burglary or other things. There have been many accounts of people coming home to ransacked homes that were broken into through a window, basement, backdoor or even by using a hidden key they find on the premises. Many simple alarm systems can be bypassed with technology or alternative methods. If you have a high-end alarm system you might not be as vulnerable, but thinking a basic window alarm will keep your home and belongings safe while you’re away is unwise.
If you have a family member or friend nearby who can periodically check in and make sure everything is secured, that is helpful. Many people pay a neighbor or local high school teen to check on everything every few days. But the best deterrent to a break-in is not letting lots of people know you’re going to be away. Keep that knowledge to a few friends and family members that you trust. If you have kids, tell them to not tell everyone on their social media accounts that you’re going to be away and tell them to save posting the pictures of vacation fun for after you return home. While most people are trustworthy, all it takes is one person who sees a post that you are away to mention it to someone who isn’t trustworthy. That person only needs to find your address online. He or she can then check out your home to see if it’s accessible and being watched. Vacations are great and can be super relaxing and enjoyable, so enjoy. But you should use some common sense when sharing that info while you are away from home to a large number of people you “kind of” know.