In a release, the Company noted that social media has inundated virtually every aspect of our daily lives, offering a way to share experiences with friends and family in remarkable detail. It has become commonplace for people to share personal details about their daily activities, so it's only natural for them to continue this practice when they are on vacation. The problem is that many people over share without fully understanding the potential consequences of their openness.
"By posting status updates about your vacation, or checking in at locations miles from your home, you're basically announcing to the world that your home is empty," said
According to a report completed last year by Consumer Reports, 4.8 million people have used
"Criminals used to have to go out and case a neighborhood to determine who wasn't home, and even if they figured that out, it was difficult for them to know for sure when the homeowner might return," said Harlin. "Now they can just go online and learn your home address, see many of your possessions from previous photos that have been posted, and learn details about travel plans including when you're leaving and when you plan to return."
In addition to avoiding social sharing, there are several other steps that you can take to prevent your home from becoming a target while you are on vacation. Stop or forward mail and newspaper deliveries and plan to have a friend or neighbor that you trust check on your home while you are away. Snow covered driveways and sidewalks can also be a giveaway that no one is home, so make arrangements for snow removal. The use of timers or smartphone apps to automate lighting can also serve as a deterrent for criminals.
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