Using Social Media While Traveling — Could It Be Unsafe?
Enjoy the Moment and Protect Your Safety by Avoiding Social Media While Traveling
Social media is a valuable tool when you are traveling — it’s a great way to share your photos and stay in touch with friends and family back home as well as new friends you have met on the road. You take a selfie on top of a mountain or a shot of the pool at your hotel and upload it on your profile, sharing your explorations in all beautiful corners of the world with your nearest and dearest.
However, are there any risks to using social media while traveling that you need to be aware of? The truth is that posting too much information about your travels can put you at risk.
Advertising an Empty Home
Whether you are posting pictures of yourself at the Taj Mahal or the Grand Canyon, there is one piece of information you are sharing: the fact that you are not at home. There are some startling statistics regarding how burglars use social media — according to an article in Time Magazine, an estimated 78% of burglars use social media to find the location of unattended houses ripe for breaking into.
After all, you wouldn’t post a sign on your front door that said, “Away on holiday, back next Monday” — so why would you post it on Facebook?
This is a good reason why you might want to wait to publish your travel photos until after you get home. Most people would not even think of this, as they would be too eager to show the amazing snaps of where they are spending their vacation.
However, you can save your stories and statuses in a Word document so you won’t forget the details, then publish them all upon your return. Don’t worry, you’ll get the same number of comments and likes on your travel photos whether you post them while you are gone or after you return home.
One of the things you should never post online is your travel plan, including when, where and how long you will be gone. You should also be cautious about “checking into” places using social media, as it will show others where you are at a certain time.
Also, use the highest level of privacy control for your Facebook profile so only your friends can view your photos and updates — not friends of friends.
It is also important to pay attention to what you say on other social media websites such as Twitter. Although each tweet is only 280 characters, they can be pieced together to gather a lot of information about where you are and what you are doing.
Insurance Claims Might Be Voided
You might be thinking that even if your home is burgled while you are away, your insurance company will cover the cost of replacing your valuable items, so you really have nothing to worry about. However, there are some insurance companies that will reject your claim if you have mentioned the date of your holiday online or shared photos of your trip while you are away.
Many people don’t realize insurers might check their social media accounts when checking out a claim — but it does happen. If they see that you have been telling the world that you are not at home via social media, they might be more likely to reject your claim.
Enjoying the Moment
Safety is an important reason to consider keeping all details of your trip off social media while you are on your travels. However, it’s not the only reason.
When you post too much information on social media about your trip, not only will you be advertising that you have an empty house, but it will also keep you from being focused on the moment during your travels.
Not being in the moment is one of the biggest travel regrets people have. A lot of the time we spend so much time thinking about how we will crop, filter and caption something that we have seen, that we fail to appreciate the moment and really look at what is in front of us.
You might be missing out on beautiful travel moments by being glued to social media apps on your phone rather than paying attention to what is around you. Instead of replying to another comment, why not put the phone in your pocket and have a conversation with the people in front of you? You might just make an amazing travel memory better than 280 characters could possibly describe.