The Selfie Effect: Are Your Vacation Pictures Putting You at Risk?
While Quebecers look forward to the summer months and vacations, many unwittingly put their homes at risk by posting their location with vacation pictures. A new Allstate Insurance survey found that almost one quarter (23 per cent) of polled Quebecers have in the past posted on their social media accounts that they were away from home.
Poll findings also showed that over half (52 per cent) of the 18 to 24 age group have shared that they were travelling on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 43 per cent in the 25 to 34 age group have done the same.
“Although it can be so much fun to share our travel experiences with others, oversharing is a trend that can potentially put the safety of your home at risk. Allstate Insurance would like to remind Quebecers to think twice before announcing their travel plans online in advance, or during their trip.”
Patrizia D’Ignazio, Allstate Agency Manager
Travelers may know basic home safety procedures when travelling, like having the mail and newspaper deliveries temporarily stopped or picked up by someone they trust. Some use an automated lighting system to create the appearance of activity. All these efforts could potentially be wasted if they publish that they are away from their home on social media sites!
This summer, 33 per cent of polled Quebecers said they plan to take at least a couple days’ vacation during the construction holiday period which runs from July 24 to August 6.
“When making travel plans, remembering to lock the front door and turn on the alarm system – if you have one – is one thing, but oversharing on your social media pages without the necessary precautions is to be avoided.’’
Francisco Randez, social media and travel expert.
You don’t have to stop sharing, just be mindful of when and how you share
With the increasing popularity of social networks, today’s cybercriminals are using information easily available to them online to plot break-ins. In the era of social networking, geolocation – the identification of the real-world geographic location of a connected device – can be blamed for break-ins. Google Street View is fast-becoming a sneaky tool used in planning burglaries. Most people provide a wealth of personal details such as their workplace location, people with whom they have relationships, their vacation timing and their address, and that can be putting them at risk.
According to the survey, sixty per cent of men and just over half of women (51 per cent) do not always deactivate their geolocation on their mobile device (smart phones or tablets) while travelling.
‘‘Travelers may be excited to post a countdown leading up to a trip or getaway or that they are en route or have arrived at their destination, but they need to be mindful of what, when and how they share online.”
Make it a family affair
The younger generation with access to mobile devices should also be kept aware of potential risks. They may be putting the family home in jeopardy by sharing private information on their whereabouts and travel plans. Almost half the survey respondents (43 per cent) have children with active social media accounts and one third of parents (33 per cent) are not in the habit of monitoring what their children post on their social media accounts. The poll also shows that 11 per cent of parents aged 35 to 44 do not regularly check their children’s social media activity. In teaching children about the proper use of social media, parents can help keep their homes safer from thieves who may be monitoring them online.
Top safety tips for homeowners on vacation
To help protect travelers from social media-savvy burglars, Allstate Insurance has partnered with Francisco Randez, TV and radio host, social media and travel expert, to offer some topline safety tips.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Léger Marketing between June 13 and 16, 2016 via a provincial omnibus online survey among a representative sample of 1,007 Quebecers. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% or 19 times out of 20.
About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada:
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, including usage-based insurance, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in “Good Hands®” as well as its employees, and has been listed as a Best Employer in Canada for four years in a row. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as the Old Brewery Mission, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), United Way, and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca. For more safety tips and advice, visit goodhandsadvice.ca.