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 or to participate in their social networks. So, we engage our vacation messages or away messages to keep folks aware of our status. We post our upcoming plans with excitement and glee on Periscope, Instagram, Facebook pages and Twitter that 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. 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 and thugs) know that your home will be available to them to pay a visit.
This is a good time of the year to also check your social account privacy settings to make sure you are locked down to show updates only to those whose friend requests you’ve accepted.
Don’t believe me?
Search for your name on Google or any of the white pages Websites. You may be surprised to find how much information about you is actually publicly available!
This is why when posting your status to your social networks or including details in your away messages, you should take extra care to not provide specifics or actual dates.
Talk about generalities when it comes to your Holiday schedule — but don’t give 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’ll be traveling on and off during the upcoming Holidays and will not be online as much as usual so don’t be concerned if I don’t respond right away! I’ll post the pics when I get caught up!
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.
Let those truly personal contacts and real friends know the details via direct email or a phone conversation only.
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 folks you do not know very well. Better safe than sorry, right?