With April vacation upon us, we are reminded to take precautions when using social media. Social media is a great place to inform your friends and family of what you and the kids are up to, but Aunt Louise and Uncle Jim from halfway across the country aren’t the only ones watching.
Chief Michael Murphy and the North Reading Police Department is reminding residents to avoid sharing updates of your vacation times and destinations to Twitter and Facebook because posting information about travel plans can increase the risk of burglaries and break-ins.
If you announce that you are going away on vacation, you are basically informing people that your home is unattended and, therefore, an easy target for a break-in. Please be smart about what you post online and don’t give burglars a reason to make you their next victim.
To boost home security, inform friends and neighbors of your whereabouts to keep neighborhoods safe. Notification can also be made to NRPD when on vacation or away from the home.
Every 15 seconds, a home in the United States is burglarized, according to stats compiled by the FBI. Many burglaries are done by thieves that are anything but “professional” and with simple precautions, you can prevent a robbery.
Here are some suggestions by the FBI for homeowners about to embark on vacation:
- Most burglaries are committed by someone who lives remotely close to you.
- Burglars are crooks of habit, they search for constant unoccupied or unsecured homes.
- Experts advise users to limit their posting on the Internet before vacationing.
- Utilize the highest privacy settings and only allow trusted friends to see your updates.
- Beware of “geotags” that allow devices to indicate your location at any given time.
- And lastly, wait until you’re home to post your vacation photos.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t put anything on Facebook or Twitter that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper. (SiLive.com/Simontacchi)