November 2015: Using Social Media While Traveling

Social media is often used to keep in touch and let family and friends know what you are doing. These social media sites will even let you "check-in" to different places such as restaurants or bars. Many people even post statuses, photos, or videos about the place or event they went to. This happens most often when people are on vacation, specifically during the holidays.

However, this information can be used against you cyber criminals. Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the holidays:

  • Posting that you are on vacation and away from home is like an advertisement saying "Please rob me!"
  • Many cameras are set to captures something called "Exchangeable Image File data" or EXIF data, which often include the data, time, and location the photo was taken. Many social media sites will strip this data when a photo is uploaded, but not all do. If a photo is uploaded to social media with the EXIF data intact, a cyber criminal could look at the photo and determine that you are currently away from home. 
  • A site's terms of service and default settings can change at any time, so make sure that you frequently check your social media privacy settings.

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