There’s no doubt that technology has made it increasingly easier to stay connected with people both in our neighborhoods and across the country. Social media features like stories and live streaming make it possible to access real-time information about your friends’ and family’s whereabouts. Though this can be fun for people you trust, it can also come with a huge downfall if you’re not careful.

In fact, over 78% of burglars use social media to find their targets. With constant updates, photos, and information in your bio, it’s not difficult for a burglar to pick up on where you work, where you live, and when you’re out of town.

Person sitting in an airport with their phone in hand, looking out the window at a plane taking off while resting their feet on their suitcase.

How Do Burglars Use Social Media?

When burglars browse social media, they’re looking for insight about who you are. Information in your bio, like your workplace or the area you live in, can easily be converted into clues for a burglar. If you post frequent stories or live streams, a burglar can also take note of where you typically are during a certain time of the day. 

You may be wondering how a potential thief could even find your home through social media, right? If your home is in the background of any of your photos, and the burglar can find the general area you live in through your profile, they’ll be able to put two and two together fairly easily.  

Why You Shouldn’t Post While on Vacation

Though it may be tempting to brag about your vacation before or while it is happening, this can quickly get you into trouble. A potential burglar who has already stalked your social media accounts will quickly jump on the opportunity to burglarize your home if they know that you are out of town. In fact, posting about your vacation before you even leave could be very dangerous as it gives a potential thief time to plan a robbery.

Person sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, reading a book with a ball cap on.

What Should You Do Instead?

The best way to protect yourself, your family, and your home is to delay your posts until you’ve returned from your vacation. We get it – it may be hard to resist posting that perfect beach photo of you in the clear blue water, but we promise it’s worth it. You’ll also want to avoid captions and comments that say anything along the lines of, “Getting on the plane! I’m so excited for my vacation!”

In the same way that posting about your vacation can be dangerous, posting too much about your everyday life can also put you and your family at risk. Posting about your kids’ school events, for example, can give burglars, or even kidnappers, too much information. If they find out what school your children attend, they can likely also find out the times when you’re not home. They may even be able to figure out what car you drive and, from there, find out where you live.

Close up image of an iphone showing a selection of social media apps including Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Clubhouse, and Facebook.

General Safety Tips for Using Social Media

Though the danger of posting too much private information on social media is very real, you don’t have to completely shut down your social media accounts. In addition to being cautious of what you post, it is also important to be cautious about who is able to see your posts. Keeping your account private will prevent anyone you don’t know or trust from seeing what you post. Don’t accept friend requests or follow requests from people you’re not familiar with.

Privacy on social media shouldn’t just end there – turning off location settings and geotagging options can keep your location secure. Avoid adding geotags to your posts, especially if it is a location you visit frequently. Geotagging your vacation posts is safe so long as you only post about your vacation once you’ve returned home.

Lastly, you should avoid including personal information in the bio of your social media accounts. Don’t list your birthday, hometown, or place of work.

For Ultimate Safety, Check the Locks

At the end of the day, staying safe from theft is all about being mindful of your decisions. This includes the decisions you make about what, when, and how you post on social media accounts. By using these tips, you’ll be able to keep yourself and your family safe. However, if you feel like you need an additional layer of security, rekeying or installing new locks is a great way to ensure that your home is safe from mishaps. Your local Pop-A-Lock is always happy to help with any of your locksmithing needs.

We provide expert lock rekeying and new lock installation to keep your home secure, so you can rest easy at night. Afterall, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep in your own bed after getting home from vacation.