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Don't Let Your Happy Snaps Compromise Your Home Security This Long Weekend

30 September 2019

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives. We use it to share our daily routine, news, express our opinions, stay in touch with friends and family… Maybe even to make them envious by posting our holiday happy snaps from exotic locations and dream destinations.

With an estimated 1.2 million South Australians using Facebook and 570,000 using Instagram, not to mention all those using Twitter, Snapchat and so on, it’s little wonder that about one third of us are checking our accounts daily.

However, did you ever think that your social media accounts could be an open invitation into your home? The information and imagery you share could be just what a criminal waiting to strike needs, especially when you are openly declaring that you’re not home.

To make the most of this long weekend, we have partnered with Crime Stoppers SA to help you enjoy your time online without compromising your home’s security.

Open house invitation

There are plenty of applications that let users promote their location but, the problem is, you are openly advertising where you are or, more importantly, where you aren’t. If you are off enjoying your favourite hotel in Bali or that restaurant you love in Noosa, then who’s at home? That’s why it’s a good idea to turn off the GPS function on your phone when you’re away.

Check your security settings.

Privacy settings can change from time to time and, sometimes, without warning, so before you head off, check your settings to make sure you aren’t sharing your private information with unwelcome eyes.

Log out before heading out

Log out of any personal accounts on your home computer because, if someone manages to access your home computer, then chances are they can access your personal information and social media accounts.

Beware the fake friend

Life shouldn’t be about the number of likes, shares and follows you get, which is why you need to be careful to only accept people who you genuinely know. Not everyone has good intentions, and someone you meet through social media could use the information you share online to track down your home and take what isn’t theirs.

Two-Factor authentication

Enabling a two-factor authentication on your social media platforms can prevent anyone who might have your password from accessing your accounts. If someone does enter your password, the social platform will recognise that it has been made from a new device and send your phone a notification.

Remember that less is more

The world might be a stage, but social media isn’t the best platform to overshare. Restrict the amount of personal information you put on social media, especially details like your home or work address, phone numbers, where you work, and any other personal information that can be used to target you. Remove GPS coordinates from any pictures you post.

Remember, it’s never a good idea to post a picture of your passport or boarding pass, even if you are super excited.

Don’t forget the basics

A few basic security precautions around the home as part of your holiday getaway preparations can also go a long way towards keeping thieves at bay and your property protected. Take time to double-check that windows and doors are locked, and make sure that sheds, garage doors, and side gates are also secure. If you have a security system or sensor lights, have them turned on. Hide those spare keys, cancel the newspaper delivery and ask a trusted friend to keep an eye on your place and empty the letterbox until you get back.

You can find more about Crime Stoppers SA here.