Watch your social media posts!

social-media-insuranceWith summer vacation here and the 4th of July just around the corner, we need to remember what to NOT put on social media sites.

Cybercriminals are using social media to search out burglary opportunities. These thieves watch for information about upcoming or current vacations and time their crimes for when homes will be empty. When users of Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, and other social media sites post when they will be (or are) out-of-town, they run the risk of unknowingly making their homes prime targets for burglary.
Thieves get this information in several ways:

Facebook: Your status reads “Can’t wait for Monday, starting week-long trip to the Caribbean.” If you haven’t adjusted your privacy settings, this information can be seen by all of your Facebook friends. But beware that even if your privacy settings are secure, people who can see it may decide to “share” or pass on the information to others who might be disreputable.

Twitter: Anyone can “follow” you without your permission so you have no control over “who sees what” as you do on Facebook. A tweet like, “Stopping in Omaha on our long drive to Denver” lets everyone know you are not at home.

Foursquare: This application is meant to let people know where you are. If you live in Boise and you have checked in at a restaurant in San Francisco, that’s a huge tip-off to anyone who wants to get into your home without you there. And foursquare is doubly dangerous because you have the option of sharing your activity on Facebook or Twitter.

To protect you, post as little as possible about your vacation plans, and ask others not to talk about trips before they happen or while in progress. Remember, you can tell everyone about your vacation when you return. If you’re simply too excited to not post your plans on Facebook, be sure your privacy settings are secure. To do this, in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook home page, click Account and select Privacy Settings. Then click the Customize Settings link, which will take you to a page where you can specify what others see.


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