Monday, June 28, 2010

Tips & Tricks #4 - Blog Safety while vacationing

First I want to apologize for not having our Tips & Tricks in past 2 weeks. I went with my family on vacation and I make it a rule, never to announce when I am going for protection for my home and family.

These tips may not be received by all but its something everyone needs to hear.

This is a Tip I want to encourage more bloggers to use. Please do not announce (as tempting as it is) that you will be gone for a while.  There are too many predators, hackers, and just bad people that would like to do you harm.

Did you know that most of the apps for Twitter have a way for you to see who is "tweeting" around where you live? Yes!! You do not have to be a "friend" to do a GPS search on your phone app for Twitter to see.
What if you had "Leaving for vacation in the morning!!" on your Twitter status and someone decided lets see if anyone's vacationing this week!
All it takes is a bored teenager (we've had some 2 summers ago that were bored and damaged something on our house late at night and we have a super quiet neighborhood) for the summer come along and damage your property because they have nothing better to do. Thieves have it way easier now because we help them. We let them know when our home is going to be sitting empty. I have 3 neighbors watch my home but they are indoors and they sleep too, so they cannot protect you. Please do not announce you are away from home!

With today's technology it can be too useful in the wrong hands. So instead of announcing your leaving and PLEASE do not update with pictures of your trip and how its going until you are back. This is the same thing as announcing you are leaving.  Instead, do the following:

Tip 1 - Pre-Post
  • 1-2 weeks before you are leaving, pre-type your posts for the week or time frame you will be gone and schedule them to post on those days you are gone. This way, it looks as if you aren't on vacation. 
Tip 2 - Safe Statuses for Twitter and Facebook
  • Be just as careful on your status on Twitter and Facebook. Do not tell them how wonderful the beach is or your trip to your family, etc. Keep it more general like.. "having a great day today", "busy, busy busy" (they dont know your busy shopping on vacation!), etc.
Tip 3 - Posting Photos
  • This is one I hope you really get. As tempting as it is, to share those adorable photos of your children, please protect them! So many predators, search for photos of children (especially for those summer shots in their bathing suits) and thanks to you, they can just take them and copy and save them to their harddrive. Then many of these photos are taken and put on the internet in terrible places. They also are photoshopped so PLEASE PROTECT YOUR FAMILY!!!!
  • Do not think if you put a "NO RIGHT CLICK" on your site, that it stops them. It doesnt. Even I could easily take your photos from your site, its VERY EASY!
  • If you want to share, create an album in Snapfish, Flickr, or Photobucket and put a passcode on the photos of your vacation. Please be smart and make it hard to hack that passcode. Use letters and numbers. Then only give it to the family you trust and ask them NOT to share it with anyone or you will have to remove the album.

We all want to keep our family safe and have a great summer, so please remember these 3 tips.  Pre-Post, Safe Statuses and Protective Photos.

Have a great SAFE internet Summer!!!

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