(Published in The College of Westchester’s Newsletter, August 2014)
Vacation is that time of the year when you are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying yourself. It’s also a great opportunity to let your friends know just how much fun you are having. In the past that meant postcards, then emails, now it’s all about Social Media. It seems to be easier; however, you need to take extra precautions. With technology you can instantly share your travel joy with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Unfortunately, that sharing can extend beyond the boundaries of friends to those you probably don’t want knowing you are out of town.
The last thing anyone wants while away is to worry, especially when it comes to the safety and security of your home. Social media presents a unique set of challenges in that regard. But, there are ways to mitigate your concern. Here are some simple but useful tips:
Don’t discuss your vacation plans and dates online
Social Media platforms are not your Outlook auto-reply message, so you don’t need to specify when you’re leaving home and when you’re coming back. It’s difficult to know who sees what you post in Social Media at all times, so when in doubt, don’t post anything.
Limit posts about your trip to friends only
Facebook for instance, offers its users the ability to limit the information you share to specific groups of people.
Wait until you return to post photos
One thing everyone loves about social media is its immediacy. Being able to share a moment in real time has its advantages, but when traveling, it offers a signal to would-be criminals that you aren’t at home. If nobody will be home, you should not post those photos or videos just yet.