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As teens of today’s social media culture, you love to publicize all the highlights of your life. When you are on vacation, it is no different; you want all of your Facebook friends and Instagram and Twitter followers to see how much fun you are having. However, when you post that picture showing you are on vacation, you may as well be screaming to potential predators one message, and one message only. That message is “MY HOUSE IS VACANT FOR THE WEEK! COME ROB IT!”
Posting these pictures can be especially harmful if your entire household is on vacation with you, thus, your house is actually empty. These photos or even status updates about current or future vacations, can be particularly detrimental if the privacy settings on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (depending on which platform you are posting on) are not set to private. If the public can see these photos or updates, there is also a good chance of people finding your address. If your privacy settings are set to private, meaning only your friends or followers can see these posts, you must ensure that you do not have anyone on that friends list that you do not know personally.
There have been numerous cases of houses being robbed while people are on vacation due to social media posts. Some examples of Facebook photos and statuses leading to burglaries include Stacey Grant’s house being robbed and a couple from Knoxville having their house trashed.
Experts urge social media users to “reverse stalk themselves,” meaning users should alway go back to check that everything they are sharing will not lead to any potential harm.
This link explains some things to remember when leaving your house vacant, and how burglars are able to get a lot more information out of your social media posts than you think!