Rivermark wants to make sure both your finances and belongings are safe, which is why we are committed to educating you on some dangers you may not be aware of. You may not realize that utilizing social media could put you at risk for theft. Every time you “check in” to a location on popular social media services, you may be telling thieves that you’re not home.
Over the past few years, there have been increasing reports of thieves using social media sites to monitor when people are away from their homes. Thieves will try to “friend” as many people as possible online and unsuspecting people may inadvertently accept their request. The thieves can then track your posts, looking for clues that you are away from your home. They can also find where you live based on check-ins, friend’s check-ins or meta-data in the pictures you’ve posted. Checking in on social media while at the airport is a dead giveaway that you’re not going to be home for a while. Once they have determined that you are on vacation, they can make their move.
What can you do to prevent this type of theft? Be careful what you post online. Make sure that your social media feeds are private and set to “friends only”. Do you have 500 “friends”? Think about how well you really know them. Save your vacation photos for a select group of actual friends (on most social media sites you can create groups or lists of your trusted contacts), or better yet, when you return.