Burglars are using social media to target their victims.

Burglars are using social media to target their victims.

Oversharing your travel plans can put you, your colleagues, your property and even your loved ones at risk. Similarly, announcing to the world that your home is vacant obviously increases the odds of a break-in.

According to one study, four out of five burglars are now using social media to track their victims and select possible targets.

Below are five top tips to help social media users stay safe while travelling.

1. Do not post flight information online — EVER.
They reveal details that can be used to steal your identity, or scam you or those you know.

2. Don’t “Geo-Tagging and Check-In”  - on social media or other platforms while travelling.

3. Don’t tag others in travel-related posts, before or during the trip. Makes sure others don’t tag you too. Some platforms, such as Facebook, give you the option of preventing others from tagging you until you approve. See the Timeline and Tagging Settings section.

4. Wait until you get home before posting your travel photos, video and text.

5. Secure connection - If you do use insecure Wi-Fi while on vacation, make sure to take proper precautions and be aware of what you access online.

Check out this handy 16 point checklist.

  • Lock garages and sheds.
  • Lock all garden tools and ladders away so they cannot be used to break into your home.
  • Consider installing a sensor light near doors/windows and onto your driveway.
  • Lock all doors, windows and gates before leaving and take spare keys with you.
  • Store other keys out of sight.
  • Use automatic timers to turn on lights and radios. Tune to talk back programs, as it gives an impression of people being at home.
  • Leave your curtains and blinds partially open. People will not be able to see straight in and you will create doubt about whether someone is home.
  • Tidy your yard prior to leaving; it gives the impression the premises is occupied.
  • Cancel all your regular deliveries.
  • Turn your phone and doorbell volume to low, so others can’t hear if they go unanswered.
  • Never leave a holiday message on your answering machine.
  • Put ‘No junk mail’ stickers on your letter box.
  • Activate your alarm.

Ask a friend or trusted neighbour to:

  • Park their car in your driveway and collect your mail or organise for Australia Post to hold your mail.
  • Put out and bring in your rubbish bins on collection day.
  • Leave emergency contact details and a spare set of keys with them with instructions on what to do if your alarm is activated.