At this time of year many folks go away for the Holidays or are using up vacation time which means they will not be available by e-mail or to participate in their social networks. So, we engage our vacation messages or away messages to keep folks aware of our status. A new component is onliners posting on their MySpace, Facebook, etc. pages that they will be out of town, away for two weeks, etc.
Think about it… These social sites are, for the most part, accessible by anyone. Yes, your goal is to let everyone who knows you or is a “friend” know what you are up to. However, what you may be inadvertently doing is letting those who are less than scrupulous (a.k.a. thieves) know that your home will be available to them for a visit.
Don’t believe me?
Search for your name on Google or any of the white pages Web sites. You may be surprised to find how much information about you is actually publicly available! That is why when posting your status to your social networks or including details in your away messages, you should not provide specifics or actual dates.
Talk about generalities in regard to your Holiday schedule — but don’t give To and From dates that will indicate when your home may not be occupied. Let those truly personal contacts know the details via direct e-mail or a phone converation. Do the same in your away/vacation messages. Simply state you will not be checking e-mail as regularly during the Holidays and will catch up shortly.
By not including dates and times of when you will be where, you are actually being prudent and reflecting the necessary caution to protect yourself from those with ulterior motives or that you do not know very well.