Are “Bad Guys” Browsing Your Social Media?
TORONTO – Living – We have all seen the images from friends and acquaintances on social media of their vacation pictures almost live. From the pool to the dinner table to the sight-seeing trips, many people just can’t wait to share their travels.
So with the start of spring break fast approaching, many people are planning a travel getaway. Some are eager to share their excitement by posting to social media the details of their vacation either before or during the trip.
However, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada (“Allstate”) would like to remind Canadians that sharing details online about a vacation also announces when your home will be unoccupied, which could put it at risk of a burglary.
Today, Allstate is launching its ‘Hold That Travel Selfie!’ public awareness campaign to inform Canadians about the risks of oversharing their travel plans and experiences with friends and family through social media networks.
In a new survey commissioned by the insurance company, almost one in three Canadian respondents (31%) who are active on social media post content about their vacation plans online, before or during their trip. The proportion who post before or during a trip is higher among Canadians 18-34 years of age (46%), households with children (36%) and those who plan on going away on vacation for spring break (45%).
The Government of Canada has stated that spring break is a popular time for Canadians to travel. Allstate’s survey showed that among Canadians that are active on social media 30% are planning a vacation for spring break, with the number rising to 44% for households with children and 46% for those aged 18-34.
Additionally, the survey showed that 70% of them cared more about protecting their homes from a break-in than sharing their travel details on social media. However, among these respondents who also say they post on social media before or during a trip, 46% would prioritize sharing on social media over keeping their home safe.
Safety Tips for Vacationeers
- Hold off on posting that selfie until you return from vacation. This includes sharing details on social media platforms before and during your trip.
- 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 previously posted on your profiles and remove any information someone might use to find your home address, such as house or apartment numbers and street names that can sometimes be found in the background of photos. And avoid posting photos with geotagging as it can reveal your location in real time.
- Discuss the risk of a break-in and your home insurance policy with your insurance professional to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs.
“We get it, a vacation is exciting and it’s tempting to share that excitement on social media. Unfortunately, depending on the security settings of your social media accounts, posting details about your vacation also announces in a public forum that your home is empty and, in some cases, for how long. This can increase the risk of a break-in while you’re away,” says Gene Myles, Agency Manager at Allstate Canada. “We’re asking Canadians to think twice before posting a picture of their plane ticket, or that quintessential beach selfie, until after they return home. That post may be just as impactful with your network after your travels and it can help keep your property safe.”