Spring Break is high season for family travel, and with every member of the family more digitally connected than ever at home and away, that means posting about good times on vacation. Not so fast, warns one insurance company, which is advising travelers of the risks of ‘over-sharing.’
A new survey commissioned by the Allstate insurance company revealed that almost one-third of social media users post content about their vacation plans online. That’s before AND during, not just afterwards, and that’s the trouble.
According to the insurance provider, “sharing that you’re away could expose your home to a break-in.” It points out that announcing in a public place for friends – and the not-so-friendly – to see that your home is empty, exposes you to risk.
In addition, people who, in an excess of enthusiasm, post photos of tickets and even passports, may end up providing unsavory characters with enough information for identity theft.
That’s the last kind of souvenir you want of your holiday!
I know – you would never post something unwise on social media. The survey shows that the proportion who post before or during their travels is highest among those 18-34 years of age, at 46%. But those with children still rank above the average one-third at 36%, and among those going away for Spring Break, 45% admit they plan on posting to social media before and during their trips.
So – on Spring Break vacations and anytime you take a trip, think before you post. And here are some social media safety tips:
- Hold off on posting that selfie until you return from your vacation. This includes sharing details on social media before and during your trip. Your friends and family will be just as envious of your trip if you post pics after you return home.
- Check the privacy and security settings of your social media accounts, and review who has access to your personal information. Even if you have set rigid privacy settings for your social media accounts, it's still possible for others to view what you post through the accounts of friends and followers.
- Review pictures you’ve previously posted on your profiles and remove any information someone might use to find your home address. Look carefully! Sometimes that information isn’t written on a document, but can be found in the background of photos.
- And avoid posting photos with geotagging as it can reveal your location in real time; turn off geolocation data on your phone.
- Review social media posting ground rules with young people traveling with you.
One more thought: if you’re vacationing right, you’re having the time of your life. Why waste any of those precious moments on social media?
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By: Lynn Elmhirst, cruise/ travel journalist and expert
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