Holiday Home Security: Be Discreet Online

With so many online outlets to share our “status” we are often tempted to overshare especially when it comes to travel or vacation. Your “trusted” network on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are not as secure as you may think. Web savvy crooks don’t have to work very hard to match up locations with those who announce their intentions of leaving their home for the holidays.
We’ve outlined these additional tips to our Holiday Home Security article that are great to keep in mind before leaving on vacation.
1. Do not announce on your answering machine or voicemail that you will be on vacation. Tell important family members and friends that you’ll be gone and then you won’t need to announce to anyone that calls that the house is empty.
2. Do not setup any email auto-reply with an out-of-office notification. Again this announces to the world that you are gone and the convenience of leaving a return date makes it even easier for crooks to figure things out.
3. Re-think your status updates. If you must make a status update to your social media profile (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) about your holiday plans, leave the dates and locations out.

4. No Addresses Anywhere. It’s best to not include your physical address on any of your social media profiles. The city is as specific as we’d get. Anyone that needs to find you should know you.
5. Don’t go Phishing. Be diligent, not just during the holidays but throughout the year, of opening/answering emails or Twitter direct messages that ask you to update account information which would include sharing a login, password or address. The phishing emails are getting more and more crafty. If you suspect something but don’t want to overlook a potential account issue then contact the bank, vendor or account directly by phone.

*The status update shown is fictitious and any inference to people or persons with that name is coincidental. It was chosen based on random family names.

photo: byrdiegylr

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