After the Travel Smart Blog post on how to document your travels online, I think its important to share a few safety tips for social sharing while you are on vacation or any trip for any reason. The excitement of sharing your experiences with the world can also be fraught with some very real dangers.
There are a few reasons why you should hold off from posting the latest and greatest details from your vacation until you get back. For one, when you Tout, Facebook or tweet about your trip, you are advertising to everyone that you are not home. That means your unoccupied residence is that much more vulnerable to people who are trolling the web for personal information.
When you return from your trips, you can upload your videos to YouTube and post the link on Twitter or embed it on Facebook so friends and family can watch. Use a (#) hashtag of the city or the geotag function on photo sharing sites like Flickr or Instagram to show the world where you’ve been.
If you simply can’t wait to share about your travels before you return, be sure that you remember:
1. Keep personal information to yourself.
2. If you are traveling alone, be very cautious about using geo-location services, apps, Foursquare, or any app that shares where you are in that moment.
3. Avoid in-person meetings with someone you’ve met online. If you must, don’t go alone. Have the meeting in a public place, tell someone you trust about the meeting and coordinate a time to check in; and if possible, take some friends along.
4. Keep communications with family through private messaging, telephone or email — not posting on social media. Often, relatives who are new to social media don’t understand the difference between public and private conversations and how they take place online.
5. As reliant as we all have become on our smart devices, you will feel not so smart if something happens to it while you are traveling. Keep a list of ICE (in case of emergency) numbers such as important phone numbers and travel contacts, and carry them on you…consider it like keeping an umbrella. If you have it, you probably won’t need it.