Insurance Agency Blog

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6 Social Media Vacation Safety Tips

vacation pics on social media 2Social media has changed our lives. In today’s world, it is second nature for many of us to have our phone handy at every moment to stay connected with our friends and share everything that is going on in our lives in real time. We check in to show where we are, post pictures and video along with details of what is going on, and we love to share the details when we have special plans. We know that our friends enjoy keeping up with us this way. But there can be a dark side to all this sharing – especially when you’re on vacation.

According to the Prince William County Virginia Police Department, burglars take full advantage of your use of social media to find out where you live, what you have, how long you are likely to be away from your property. They stalk their prey, learning which homes offer the most valuable contents and when it is best to break in. (See more about how burglars use social media in this infographic.)

So how do you avoid putting your home at risk while you’re on vacation? Learn to be savvy about social media safety with the following tips.

Before vacation

  • Don’t announce your vacation plans in advance
  • You’re excited about your upcoming week on the beach and you’d like to share, but resist the urge to post the details or tweet your plans.
  • Keep your location private
  • Mobile devices and laptops have settings that track your location using Wi-Fi hotspots or GPS. By disabling these settings, your geographic location won’t be captured if you tweet or post.
  • Review your Facebook settings
  • With Facebook’s privacy settings, you can control which posts and photos you’re tagged in, but only if you enable the timeline review control which prevents tagged posts from automatically appearing on your timeline. So if you are vacationing with friends who tag you in their photos, you can delay having them show on your timeline until you are at home again.

During vacation

Don’t check in while you’re away

Checking-in on Foursquare and Facebook pins your exact location on the social media virtual map. Yes, it shows your friends where you are, but it also shows the same to burglars who might be tracking you.

Save those great moments for your return

By all means, take photos to remember that vacation experience and even make notes to use in future social media messages if you have an app for that. But don’t post them in real time. If you must do your posts “in the moment” then schedule them to delay posting until you’ve returned home. Perhaps use a social media management app like HootSuite to write posts and tweets, then schedule them to post at a later date.

After vacation

  • Share, share, share
  • Once you return from that great vacation, you can relive it all again by sharing all the moments with friends and family as you publish all those photos, videos, posts, tweets and blog articles. It will seem like you’re living it all again but in the safety of home.

Home Insurance Tip

If you find that your home has been burglarized, the first step is to make a police report. The next step is to contact your insurance agent to file a home insurance claim. To do so, you’ll need to know what was lost and what the dollar value was. To make this process easy, prepare a room-by-room home inventory – preferably one that lists all items of value in your home along their cost (or appraised value) and including photographs whenever possible. Consider the Know Your Stuff home inventory tool provided by the Insurance Information Institute. 

The Latimer Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency in Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) offering business/commercial insurance, auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), New York (NY), West Virginia (WV), North Carolina (NC) and Washington DC since 1919. Our experienced insurance agents  at our office Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.

Monday, 20 June 2016 16:34