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The danger of oversharing

vacationphone

Hold that selfie! As the summer temperatures soar, Canadians are leaving by the truckload to unwind on the beach or at the cottage. And while a Facebook update or Instagram photo might seem inconspicuous, new research reveals that Canadian homeowners are putting themselves at risk by sharing vacation-related updates.

The information comes courtesy of a report from Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. After polling 1,007 Quebecers regarding their vacation habits, Allstate has highlighted some potential missteps that could jeopardize a vacationer’s security.

“Although it can be so much fun to share our travel experiences with others, oversharing is a trend that can potentially put the safety of your home at risk,” says Patrizia D’Ignazio, Allstate Agency Manager. “Allstate Insurance would like to remind Quebecers to think twice before announcing their travel plans online in advance, or during their trip.”

Untag, unplug, and then unwind

The survey found that 23 per cent of respondents have shared posts about their vacation-related absences. This number accounts for 52 per cent of the 18 to 24 age group and 43 per cent of the 25 to 34 group.

With today’s cybercriminals using online information to plot break-ins, it’s no longer enough to simply lock the front door. Even publicly accessible information like Google Street View can be used to plan burglaries.

In order to let vacationers put their minds at ease, Allstate has recruited TV and radio host Francisco Randez to share his social media safety tips.

Infographic - The Selfie Effect: Are Your Vacation Pictures Putting You at Risk? (CNW Group/Allstate Insurance Company of Canada)

Infographic - The Selfie Effect: Are Your Vacation Pictures Putting You at Risk? (CNW Group/Allstate Insurance Company of Canada)

Some highlights:

  • Be aware of your use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks. Don’t share your departure dates and ensure your children do the same.
  • Check the privacy and security settings of your social media accounts. Make sure only approved and trusted friends are in the loop.
  • Before posting pictures, ask yourself if they reveal too much information.
  • Avoid posting photos with geotagging. Keep your exact location private by disabling geolocation on your device and its camera.
  • Less is more. Consider saving your pictures until you’re back home safe.

“Travelers may be excited to post a countdown leading up to a trip or getaway or that they are en route or have arrived at their destination, but they need to be mindful of what, when and how they share online,” says Randez.