Okay moms and dads, pop quiz! What’s the worst thing that could happen to your home while you’re away on family vacation? Fire? Flood? Burglary? More importantly, what is the most likely of these to actually be realized by returning vacationers?
Each year, there are more than 2 million burglaries in the US, over 65 percent of which are residential break-ins, with the majority occurring during the peak vacation months of July and August, according to a July 2007 Insurance Information Institute article.
With summer fast approaching and family vacations on the horizon, it’s only natural for kids and adults alike to announce or discuss vacation plans with family and friends on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Unfortunately, what folks aren’t considering is the availability of that information to the broader social reach, including tech-savvy criminals who can use those posts, tweets, status updates, and discussions to identify your empty and unprotected home during the time when you are away on vacation. Those exuberant tweets of upcoming vacation dates, timeframes, and destinations could increase your chances of being burglarized while away.
Think twice before cyber-bragging! That breathless post to your facebook friends, that vacation has FINALLY arrived “Look out Disney, here we come!” might as well be a giant sign on your front lawn saying “Come on in, take what you want, there’s nobody home this week!”
So do yourself a favor and skip the vacation announcements on Facebook and Twitter. Reign in your kids who will not only discuss vacation plans openly before the vacation, but will also offer real-time status updates through their mobile phones during the vacation that further confirm the vulnerability of your home as a safe target for burglars.