Crime-prevention experts are urging travellers not to share their vacation plans online, or post photos while they’re away, because it lets thieves know that a home is empty.
The advice was part of Crime Stoppers’ annual tips for a safe holiday season.
“It’s very easy for criminals to track you down, track your home down, and come and rob you while you’re away,” said executive director Linda Annis.
The repercussions of posting too much online are well documented, but people generally feel safe about sharing happy photos from abroad.
“These days most people can’t go on a vacation without posting it on social media, to let everybody know they’re on vacation, but those have consequences,” said Andy Baryer, a tech and lifestyle expert.
It is surprisingly easy for would-be burglars to find an empty house by searching someone’s name and then scrolling through online posts.
“They’ll post everything from they’re at the airport, to when they make their destination, to all of the holiday pics—so you can kind of get an itinerary of when people are away and when they’re not home,” said Baryer.
Insurance companies also warn people to avoid too much online activity while away, and in some countries, posting snaps can invalidate a policy.
Those who must post their photos are advised to wait until they’re home.
Staying offline, after all, is a sign of a good vacation.