There are age-old tips for keeping your house safe when you go out of town, including:
- Lock the doors.
- Check the windows.
- Don’t leave an answering machine message that says you’re out of town.
- Ask a neighbor to grab the mail, so it’s not piling up in the mailbox.
- Set a timer on some indoor and outdoor lights if you can, to make sure the place isn’t in pitch darkness 24 hours a day.
And then there are new-age tips for helping to keep your house safe while you’re out of town. These may be less familiar, but they’re just as important.
- First of all, check the security settings on your Facebook page. Find it in the tab under your profile image. Make sure your posts are set to go out only to friends. Public posts can be seen by anyone, anywhere in the world, which makes them vulnerable to ne’er do wells. Your friends, even if they’re only peripheral acquaintances, are less like to do you harm.
- Never ever announce on your social media account that you’re on vacation.
- Everyone likes to post their favorite selfies and sweeping landscape photos. But they can be saved on your phone and uploaded after you return. The double benefit of that is that you’ll be more focused on your vacation time, and less on reacting to comments on social media.
“By saying you are in Hawaii for two glorious weeks, just sets up an opportunity for someone to find your hometown and start going by your house to see how secure it is,” wrote Andrew Johnson on greenpath.com. “Technology today can pinpoint homes on map apps, find addresses and in one swoop, a burglary can happen.
“So, yes, lock your doors, have your neighbors keep an eye on your house, stop the paper and enjoy that trip. But take a few online precautions, ahead of time, to make your home sweet home even more secure in these last few weeks of summer.”