A little reminder posted for you each Holiday Season!
At this time of year many folks make plans to go away for the Holidays or are using up vacation time which means they will not be available by email. Those we communicate with on our social accounts will notice our absence.
So, we engage our vacation/away messages to keep folks aware of our status. We post our upcoming plans with excitement and glee on Snap, Periscope, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
We announce we will be out of town, for how long, where we are going, etc.
We’re leaving for the airport for our two week visit with family on the east coast! Excited!
What nefarious individuals see is “There’s a house/condo/apartment that won’t have anyone home for two weeks!”
Think about it… Social sites are, for the most part, accessible by anyone. 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 and thugs) know that your home will be available for them to pay a visit. Are all your “friends” actually friends?
This is a good time of the year to check your social account privacy settings. Make sure you are locked down to show detailed personal updates only to those whose friend requests you’ve accepted.
Maybe consider unfriending those who you are not actively friends with. There is no way you can know for sure, if those who you really do not know, are trustworthy.
Why expose yourself to strangers just for a high friend count? Think quality over quantity.
Don’t believe me?
Search for your name on Google or any of the white page websites. You will probably be surprised to find how much information about you is actually publicly available. Including the ability to “street view” your home on Google.
This is why when posting your status to your social networks or including details in your away messages, you should take extra care. Do not provide specifics or actual dates.
Talk about generalities when it comes to your Holiday schedule. Refrain from providing To and From dates that will indicate when your home may not be occupied.
Here are examples you can use right now for your voicemail, away messages and social media updates:
- FOR WORK: I’ll be less available during the Holidays. Please contact my assistant, Jane Doe @ 555-1212 if you need immediate assistance.
- FOR PERSONAL: I will not be online as much as usual during the upcoming Holidays so don’t be concerned if I don’t respond right away. Too many fun off-line things to do!
You get the idea. Simply state you will not be checking email as regularly during the Holidays and will catch up shortly. Never provide specific dates and time-frames.
Don’t Post Photos in Realtime
Also be wary of posting photos that show you are away from home. That’s as good as posting “empty house available.” Share them when you return.
Let those truly personal contacts and real friends know the details via direct email or a phone conversation only. You can also caution friends who you see posting too many details about their plans too.
By not including dates and times of when you will be where, you are actually being prudent. In the process you will be reflecting the necessary caution to protect yourself from those with ulterior motives or folks you do not know very well. Better safe than sorry, right?
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