We all know to lock our doors when we leave the house. But when it comes to social media activities many of us are inadvertently opening the door to expensive home damage and putting ourselves and our possessions at risk, according to the MetLife Auto & Home American Safety Pulse: Danger at the Door survey.
You’re surely not leaving your doors open for thieves to just walk in, but you might unknowingly invite burglars in via social media. According to MetLife Auto & Home’s safety poll, nearly 8 out of 10 (79 percent) people say they never leave their doors unlocked, under any circumstances. However, 15 percent of the total population report using social networking sites to post updates when leaving their homes, and more than double that amount, a full 35 percent of younger Americans (aged 18-34) “check in” to locations and tweet about their whereabouts. While these social notices help friends keep tabs on friends, they can also give burglars clues about the best time to strike — especially when updates or photos indicate that a person or family is away for an extended period, such as on a holiday vacation.
What can you do to protect yourself online? Use common sense and be careful what information you share. Unless your Twitter posts are private everyone can see your message, even if you’re just talking to your best friend. Facebook has added options so you can select who can see your post – take advantage of these privacy features. Talking about your travel plans is probably best kept for private messages with your friends and kept out of conversations with the virtual world.