You may not know it, but you’re telling the world you’re not home
Are you the kind of person to make sure there’s a light or two on while you’re away for a week? Maybe you even have a timer or the technology to switch it on and off. If that’s the case, why do you and loved ones broadcast it to the world while you’re away?
According to a study by the Cyber Security company Webroot, 29% of baby boomers share their travel plans on social media. Now you might be one of the responsible ones who makes sure never to post your travel plan online. But what about your children? Or grandchildren? According to that same study, 60% of millennials post their travel plans online. On social media it’s very easy to “check-in” at the exotic locations you’re visiting, and your children could easily be letting the world know that you’re out, and those lights at home are illuminating an empty house.
Even if you aren’t posting your travel plans to the world, your children might be doing it for you. When you get tagged in that great family photo that your daughter posted, it will show up on your Facebook profile and everyone will see that you’re off on a cruise or exploring the Grand Canyon. You were careful and didn’t post your itinerary, but with this trail of photos you might as well have! An easy way to prevent this is to look into your Facebook settings and enable to Tag Review privacy feature, ensuring that no tags will be posted on your page without your prior approval.
Seemingly innocent photos can reveal your travel plans. Maybe you took a picture of a delicious meal that you’re about to enjoy, that could have easily come from a restaurant down the road from your house. There’s no way someone could know it was cooked a thousand miles away, right? Unfortunately for you, that photo may be geotagged, and the location information for the photo is online and could provide people with your current location.
The most damaging photo to share- your boarding pass
Crooks can do more with your information than ever before. It’s amazing how many people excitedly post pictures of their boarding passes, not realizing how easy it is to not only get their personal information from it, but to even access and potentially alter their flight details. With this information, as Steve Hui, CEO of iflyflat, discusses in this interview, people can easily use the barcode to not only find out exactly who you are, but to even cancel your flight or steal your frequent flyer miles.
Your friends will be just as impressed with your pictures next week
You don’t need to share the photos as they’re happening. The best advice is to simply not post on social media while on vacation. Discuss with your family how easy it is to unintentionally reveal too much information online, and convince the kids to log out of Facebook for at least a few days. You’ve collected some fantastic photos and experiences, and I’m sure you’re eager to share, but that can wait until you’re arrived safely back at home.