In the age of social media, it’s now easier than ever to stay connected with old friends, family members, and colleagues. Unfortunately, it’s just as easy for criminals to take advantage of these platforms to target potential victims. 

We must always be mindful of what we say and do online. It’s a common sentiment but an important one to remember. What we post on social media not only could impact future employment or friendships but can also put you and your family at risk. We’re here to help maintain your privacy and keep yourself safe through these social media tips. 

1. Be Mindful of Location Tags

When sharing photos or videos on social media, always be cautious about the location tags you’re attaching to them. You never want to reveal sensitive information, such as your home address, current whereabouts, or places you like to visit. Geotagged posts can provide valuable information to potential intruders about your routine and residence.

While it may seem appealing to post your favorite park spot or café location, it also shows people online where they can find you. Although rare, you never want to put yourself in a position where somebody who shouldn’t know where to find you can. As a general piece of advice, when you decide to add a location tag, keep it general and avoid specifics.

2. Avoid Real-Time Updates

Instant sharing is one of the many byproducts of social media. However, it’s vital to exercise caution whenever you post real-time updates on your social media platforms. Broadcasting personal information, such as your upcoming weekend getaway or spontaneous road trip, may seem harmless. But by announcing your absence, you’re providing an opportunity to potential criminals. 

It's always better to share these types of events after the fact. If you feel the need to share updates during your outings, it’s better to contact friends or family members directly instead of making it visible on social media. Share the fun without the unnecessary risk. 

3. Adjust Privacy Settings

Most social media platforms offer privacy settings that impact the visibility of your posts. Take the time to review these settings and adjust them accordingly. If you’re not using social media to build a brand or business, we recommend setting your accounts to private, so only those who follow you can see your posts. 

You should vet all your friend or follow requests thoroughly. If it’s someone you don’t know and they don’t have any connections to you, it may be better to ignore their request. It’s also important to be mindful of fake social media accounts. These accounts are often parody or “burner” accounts, but some contain harmful links or material that could put your accounts and personal information at risk. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t know the person, think carefully before accepting their request.

4. Wait to Share Vacation Photos

Our family vacations and coastal retreats are the trips we’re all eager to share. However, it’s essential to err on the side of caution whenever you share these posts. From the perspective of would-be intruders, real-time vacation photos not only reveal you’re absent from your home but indicate they have a wide window of opportunity to strike.

You should delay your vacation posts until after you return home. Likewise, do not publicly post about your upcoming trips on social media. And especially so, never post the dates and locations of where your trip is taking place. Consider using private messaging to update close friends and family members about your fun excursions instead. 

5. Avoid Posting Valuables Online

It’s only natural to want to showcase your achievements and nice possessions. Unfortunately, posting valuable items on social media can inadvertently make your home, and these items targets for intruders. Posting images of expensive electronics, jewelry, or high-end furnishings provides potential intruders with insight into the valuable items within your home.

Consider refraining from showcasing high-value possessions or assets that could attract unwanted attention. Focus on sharing experiences, moments, and memories rather than material items. By exercising discretion in your posts, you can reduce the likelihood of your home becoming a target.

Bonus Tip: Utilize a Smart Home Security System

Beyond practicing responsible social media usage, incorporating technology into your home security strategy can provide an extra layer of protection. At Vector Security, our home automation systems, such as security cameras, alarms, and door locks, allow you to remotely monitor and control various aspects of your home.

Navigating social media requires mindfulness and strategic choices to safeguard yourself, your family, and your home. It’s about striking a balance between connectivity and privacy. A little caution goes a long way, and a smart home security system can keep intruders at bay. For more information about our smart home security products, feel free to contact us today.