In a world of social media and constant connectivity, it’s easy to share aspects of our lives online for the world to see. When you want to know what your friends are doing, all you have to do is track their posts online – it’s easy and takes just a few minutes to know what everyone is up to. But oversharing on social media is a dangerous trend that puts you and your belongings at risk.
In 2016, Kim Kardashian was visiting Paris for Fashion Week when a group of armed robbers broke into her hotel and escaped with nearly $10 million dollars worth of jewelry. How did they know she was alone without security? A simple check of Instagram made it all too easy to track her movements. And though most of us don’t have millions of dollars in jewelry sitting at home, oversharing on social media can expose a lot to someone with the wrong intentions.
Still not convinced? A study conducted in the UK with 50 ex-burglars found that an overwhelming 78% used social media to identify target homes where the owners were absent, a scary reality for anyone sharing on social media. So what can you do to protect yourself?
Here are the top five social media sharing mistakes to avoid:
1. Sharing your full address
If you’re having a party, selling something on Kijiji, or posting your apartment for rent online – never share the actual address. This also includes posting photos with your address tagged or sharing images with your house number in it. Instead, share the general neighbourhood and ask people to contact you for more detailed information. That way, you control who has the information and share it with only those you trust.
2. Checking-in or sharing your location
Avoid check-ins or geolocation features on social media. These features immediately tell anyone where you are and where you are not… It makes it all too easy for someone to check where you are and easily determine that you’re not at home, leaving your house vulnerable.
3. Sharing vacation plans
Of course, people get excited about sharing vacation plans, but documenting it online gives anyone a clear idea of where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. One of the worst things you can do is share photos of your vacation, while you’re still on vacation. It opens your home up to a long list of possibilities for burglars looking to make a quick buck.
4. Sharing expensive belongings
Everything from your beautiful new engagement ring to your adorable pure-bred puppy
5. Not investing in home security
Even if you’re smart online, it’s still possible that your home becomes the target of a break-in. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not having a home security system in place to keep you and your belongings safe. Thanks to technological advancements, home security systems have become extremely affordable and adaptable to your needs. So regardless of your home or budget, you’re more than likely to be able to find something that fits.