Share Smarter – 5 Common Social Media Security Mistakes That Are Compromising Your Security
As social media continues to become increasingly popular by the day, users are less aware of how the information they share can make them vulnerable. When people post on social media, especially those who have a public profile or are less-than selective when accepting friend requests, they could be sharing sensitive information with some unsavory characters. Here are some guidelines that might help you share smarter.
The Vacay Countdown: “Five days until toes in the sand!” is certainly exciting, but an update like this could also be announcing that no one will be home in five days and could open your home up to a break-in. Consider sharing your amazing vacation experiences when you return.
Also, if you plan to have a friend, neighbor or relative check on the house while you’re away and you’re not handing your house key directly to them, don’t leave the key where another is likely to find it (on top of the door frame, under a “hide-a-key” rock or under the mat). You’ll also want to make sure the person coming to your home has a code for your security system and is comfortable operating it. The Total Connect app is a great feature for when you’re away and have someone stopping by. You can see the arming/disarming status of your system in real time from your cell phone and can even arm and disarm the system remotely for them, so they don’t need to operate your alarm.
Checking In: Businesses encourage us to check in on social media. We love check-in’s and think it’s a fun way to share our adventures and support businesses! However, while your location may be exciting, check-ins in real-time tell others that you’re not home, and if you’re tagging your friends, you could be putting them at risk as well. We encourage you to check in but to consider waiting to post them until after you return home.
Remodels/Construction: If you’re finally getting the sunroom addition or the kitchen of your dreams, it’s understandable for you to be super excited and want to share! But construction pics posted in real time could indicate to a nefarious-minded person that your security system may be in a compromised state, that there may be access to your home through an alternative entry point, or even that you may not be staying there while the construction is taking place. We’d offer the same advice for structural property damage. Consider saving these types of pictures for a “before and after” post when the job is complete.
Décor: Did you buy a new, gorgeous dining set? Change the arrangement of your furniture in the bedroom? Of course you want to show it off! Just remember that sharing photos of your living spaces sometimes inadvertently displays valuables in the background. A photo of a room can also display the partial layout of your home which could help a burglar map out his or her route. Be mindful of these factors when posting photos of the interior of your home.
RSVPs: Public (or semi-public) RSVPs to parties, school events, weddings, etc., can give burglars a signal to target your home during the event. It’s a good idea to send and respond to invites through a private channel.
It’s easier than most people think to find someone’s address online when they see an opportunity like the ones mentioned above. While a well-designed home security system is the best way to deter and detect intruders, these tips may prevent attracting the wrong kind of attention in the first place. Having a non-public profile and being mindful of whom one accepts as an online friend or follower, along with being intentional with what you’re posting are important steps in elevating your home and personal security.
Wishing you a safe and happy summer!
Petitbon Alarm Company