You just check into your hotel, hookup to that free wifi, and go to check in on Facebook so your friends and family know you’ve arrived. Stop right there. Posting your location and details of your trip can put you at serious risk.
“But wait” you ask, “if I don’t post immediately, did the trip even happen?” (The answer is yes). Posting our travel photos during the trip can do more harm than the amount of likes we get is worth.
This applies to all travelers, but especially females traveling alone.
Travelocity conducted a poll that found 30% percent of people do not give any thought to taking precautions posting to social media when they are away from home. (Business Wire)
There are several risks. If a friend of a friend on Facebook sees you’re away on vacation, they know your house is unoccupied. Even if you have serious privacy settings on Facebook, one of your forgetful friends can lose their phone and have it stolen. Another risk is your credit information. If a hacker sees you’re off dropping large amounts of money on vacation, they have a better chance of sneaking off with your information. For women traveling alone, you don’t want anyone unexpected waiting for you when you arrive to your location. It is incredibly easy to search a location on Twitter and see who has tagged themselves at that location.
To make sure you are not putting yourself at risk, be sure to:
Turn off the “add location to your tweets” function on your Twitter.
If you feel the need to add a location to your Instagram posts, don’t use your exact location. If you’re in a big city, just tag the city. If you’re not in a big city, try tagging the state or country you’re in.
Don’t share the itinerary of the trip. No dates, no activities, no locations of where you are staying, etc.
Even if you don’t tag your location, your photos can still be geotagged. You can remove geotagging on your camera, or you can remove it on each individual app.
I am no expert at geotagging, so for more detailed information check out:
Social media has become a digital scrapbook for all of us. Posting is great to show your family and friends your life. It is also great to have these photos to look back on. We all just need to be smart about what and when we share online. So if you’re traveling to more than one location, wait to share details of that stop on your trip until you’re moving to the next location.
Once you’re safely back home, go ahead and post away. Your friends might even thank you for not overwhelming their feeds with multiple daily posts from your trip!