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We may not have done it ourselves, but we can certainly say that we’ve most likely seen it done by others.

Mary and her husband are going on a trip to the Caribbean and we all know about it before, during, and after their trip.  How?  Because it’s been posted or shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or maybe even Snapchat.  

We all appreciate certain benefits and conveniences of social media, but users should take caution with when and what they are posting.  The summer vacation season is a particularly important time to be mindful of when and what you post, as many of us are getting out of town.  

Posting your plans and the dates you’ll be gone is an open door for thieves.  “I can’t wait to hit the beach for a week” can translate into “stop by my house and help yourself because I won’t be home.”  Nobody wants to think of it this way, but it’s reality and it does happen.  

Resist the Temptation 

Summer vacationers should not discuss their times of absence publicly on social media.  Wait until you return home to post those vacation photos.  Don’t invite criminals into your home by telling them specifically when it won’t be occupied.  

The same holds true for any time that you will be away from your home.  Don’t tell the whole social media world that you’ll be away for the day at your best friend’s wedding or that you’ve just checked into the spa for a day of pampering.  You may get more than you bargained for. 

Protect Your Home and Yourself

Simply following a basic social media protocol can help you to avoid unnecessary risk to your home and even to yourself.  In addition, the following are a few things you should avoid on social media. 

Never reveal any personally identifiable information.  For example, do not list your full birthdate or announce the place you were born.  You’re only helping cyber criminals put the pieces of the puzzle together much more easily.  Doing so can provide an opportunity to acquire your identity for criminal gain.

Most certainly avoid the urge to turn social media into a confessional or an airing of grievances.  Employers regularly scan through social networking sites during the hiring and firing process.  Yes, it certainly can reflect badly on you.

These are just a few ways you could avoid the perils of posting on social media.  Setting parameters for social media use will keep it a good experience.  Please feel free to provide your input to phandy@vfmcneil.com.