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Vacation Social Media Safety

Don’t let your social media behavior during vacation put you, your family and your home at risk by following these tips! Many of us travel during the summer months and trust me burglars know it.   Plus, in some cases not all of our family members join us on our trips; perhaps a college student working an internship, you don’t want to put them at risk for a home invasion.  Did you know, according to an article in Time Magazine, it is estimated that 78 percent of burglars now use social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to choose the location of their next break-in?

Before vacation:

1. Resist the “I’m going on vacation” social media announcement

You might want to tell all of  your Facebook friends that you’ll be on the beach or in Europe for the next seven days, but resist the urge to post or tweet about it.  On more than one occasion, I have seen people literally posting that they are getting on the plane!

2. Disable location-identifying settings

Smart phones, tablets and laptops have location services that identify where you are by using GPS or Wi-Fi hotspots. By disabling the location-identifying settings, your geographic location won’t be captured if you tweet or post general updates while you are on vacation.  For instance wishing someone a happy birthday, keeping up with your friend’s online news and in my case since social media is my job I make sure no one has a clue where I am if I am out of town.

3. Check your Facebook tagging settings

Facebook’s privacy settings allow you to manage the posts and photos you’re tagged in. Prevent tagged posts from automatically appearing on your timeline by enabling the timeline review control. Then you can approve pictures snapped by friends or family during vacation after you get home. And while you’re adjusting your Facebook tagging settings for vacation, take a few minutes to double check the rest of your social media privacy settings.

During vacation:

4. Don’t check in or post about vacation

Check-ins on Foursquare and Facebook are a no-no while you’re on vacation—and so is tweeting about it. By pinning your exact location on a social media virtual map like Foursquare, your friends will know where you are—and burglars will know where you aren’t.

5. Capture the incredible moments

Take photos and jot down the social media messages you’d normally say about the experience. Consider using a social media management website such as Buffer App to write posts and tweets, then schedule them to post after you return home, avoid using Instagram as photos immediately post and in some cases will post automatically to Twitter and Facebook as well.

6. Blog now—publish later

Blogging during your vacation is a great way to capture all the details of your experience. When you finish writing the post, save it as a draft instead of publishing it.

After vacation:

7. Share

Once you get home, recap your vacation with friends and family by sharing the photos from your trip and publishing your blog posts.

Pass these tips along to your fellow vacationers (friends, family and kids) so their social media behavior on vacation doesn’t put your home at risk for burglary.

Sources:  Nationwide Insurance and Time Magazine

Julie Van Ameyde is the owner of Simply Social Media. She puts her combined knowledge of social media platforms and best practices as a veteran business owner to work for clients in a myriad of vertical markets, including law, medicine, finance, technology, manufacturing, retail and service-based organizations. In addition, she contributes considerable time and energy to civic outreach programs, as well as community and charity groups. Contact Julie at: 248-667-8718 or

Simply Social Media is located in Northville, Michigan a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

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