With the continued growth in popularity of social media sharing sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, more and more of our lives are moving online. With this shift to a digital lifestyle, we are becoming more interconnected than ever across the world. While this rise in social media can bring many wonderful benefits to our lives, there are a number of risks associated with social media that are often overlooked when we share information about our day to day lives with the rest of the world. In particular, one of the major risks with social media that often goes unaddressed is that of home security.

Home security is vital in maintaining a safe and comfortable lifestyle for ourselves and our families. Sometimes the things that we share on social media can put our home security at risk in ways that we don’t even realize. For instance, many of us will share information about our daily routines, such as morning commutes, times that we are working and dates that we will be vacationing on our social media accounts. While intended to be shared predominantly with friends and family, in the hands of the wrong people, information like this can be used to determine when you and your family will not be in your home, making it the target of break-ins and burglaries.

Another way in which our social media activities can jeopardize our home security is through sharing photos of our homes and the things inside them. While often we enjoy sharing pictures with our friends of the new room we just redecorated or the new patio furniture we bought just in time for the summer season, these photos can be risky when put in the hands of someone looking to burgle your home. By sharing these photos, thieves are able to see not only what you have but assess a value of your home and its possessions increasing your chances of being targeted for one of their break-in attempts.

Checking in is another way that we can unintentionally put our homes at risk on social media. Sharing where you and your friends are currently located on sites like Facebook and Twitter not only give criminals the knowledge that you are not home, but it gives them this knowledge in real-time allowing them to assess time and distance when determining the feasibility of breaking into your home.

Overall, while social media provides mass amounts of incredible benefits to today’s increasingly digital society, it’s important that we are conscious of the things that we are sharing online so that we don’t put ourselves at risk. Frequently home security is overlooked when considering what and what not to share on our social media profiles, but understanding the way that our sharing practices may be putting us at risk is a great start to making our homes safer for ourselves and our families.