By: Melanie Anderson
I never thought it would happen to me. In fact, I just got done telling my 90-year-old neighbor that I felt so safe where I lived. I am on a main road, the fire department is right across the street, we lock our doors and cars, and we live in a nice neighborhood. A break-in was the last thing on my list of worries. But it happened, and it was horrible. The first day of my sons preschool, I had to pick him and my middle schooler up in two different places at the same time. I asked my teen if he would mind walking home and by the time he was getting home, I would be right behind him. About 2 minutes from pulling in my driveway, I got a call from my son saying someone was in our house and he jumped out our back bedroom window.
There are major events that happen where we talk about the before and afters. This was it for us. There was before the break-in and after the break-in. Our lives have changed and we now take measures to keep this from happening again.
I have had a million thoughts in regards to safe guarding our home and family. Locking doors and windows is a must, but one thing that we started taking a deeper look into is internet safety.
In today’s society, nothing is private thanks to social media and that makes home security a risk. Here are some things to think about when it comes to internet security.
I see it from so many people. Out to dinner with their spouses. Running to a store. At their child’s sports event. Putting a check-in status on social media lets everyone know you are away from your home and usually makes it easy for a thief to make a good assumption on how long you will be gone.
2. Posting vacation pictures while your on vacation.
Everyone loves seeing those tropical beach pictures or the winter ski vacation photos; however, keep in mind that it lets everyone know that you are not home and won’t be for some time. Keep those candids on your phones and cameras until after your vacation is over.
3. Posting pictures of new purchases.
With the holidays just around the corner, this is an important one. Don’t post pictures of your new 60″ TV, MAC Pro, or new camera. Posting pictures for strangers to see or repost lets everyone know what valuable items you have in your house.
4. Make a social media family plan.
Making a plan is so important since kids tend to use many social media outlets. If you intend to make your social media safe, then it is also important to make theirs safe as well. If you won’t post where you are, they shouldn’t either.
5. Keep personal information off of social media.
Do not give your address and phone number on a public site. Sharing that information in the “About” sections lets everyone know where you are located or gives them an opportunity to call you to see if you are home or not. Equally important, do not share this information on yard sale sites—public or private. Meet the person in a public place to give or receive an item.
6. Keep social media for your friends and family only.
A friend of a friend’s friend of a friend doesn’t need to see your information. Keep what you share for people you know to minimize your exposure and keep your family safe.
Being victimized is traumatic. But my hope is that what my family went through can help to keep your family from having to go through it too.