Date Published: 2024/01/12

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Preventing break-ins while away on vacation

Young girl posing for a picture on the beach with her hands in the air

Now that winter is in full swing, many Canadians are eagerly planning their vacations to escape the cold and create lasting memories. But did you know that sharing those vacation pictures on social media could inadvertently put your home at risk of break-ins?

In this article, we'll explore the connection between vacation photos and home break-ins and provide practical tips to safeguard your home while you're away.

Social media vacation pictures and home break-ins: How to protect your home

When you're on vacation, it's tempting to share your adventures with friends and family through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter. After all, who wouldn't want to showcase that perfect beach sunset or the charming cobblestone streets of a European city? However, posting vacation photos while you're away from home can signal to potential burglars that your residence is unoccupied.

Social media safety tips to prevent home break-ins

Let's delve into the dos of smart social media practices for preventing home break-ins while you're away.

  • Wait to post. Avoid sharing vacation photos in real time. Wait until you're back home before posting that Instagram-perfect selfie. By doing so, you won't inadvertently announce that your house is empty.
  • Limit your audience. Review your social media privacy settings. Consider sharing only with trusted friends and family rather than broadcasting to everyone. On platforms like Facebook, restrict access to detailed personal information to your close circle.
  • Avoid geotagging. Geotagging can reveal your exact location when you share photos online. While showing off where you're vacationing can be fun, it can inform potential thieves that you're far away from home.
  • Prioritize security over sharing. Focus on safeguarding your home over sharing your travel journey online. Remember that burglars may be watching, and it's safest to wait until you've returned home to post about your exciting vacation adventures.

Practical tips for preventing home break-ins

In addition to social media safety, there are other measures you can take to prevent home break-ins while you're on vacation. Follow these steps to enhance your home security while you're away.

  • Lock up. Double-check that you've locked all your windows and doors. Install high-security locks and deadbolts for an added layer of security.
  • Go for the lived-in look. If you plan to be away for an extended period, create the illusion that your home is occupied. Use timers for lights, ask a neighbour to collect mail and keep snow cleared from your driveway.
  • Hide valuables. Keep all valuables out of sight. Use a safe or lockbox for jewellery, important documents and other precious items.
  • Remove the spare key. Avoid hiding spare keys on your property, like under the doormat or flowerpot. Instead, consider giving a spare key to a trusted neighbour or invest in a secure keyless entry system.
  • Install a home security system. Consider investing in a reliable home security system. Surveillance cameras, motion sensors and alarms can deter intruders. If you have a home security system, ensure it is activated before you leave.
  • Review your home insurance policy. Before leaving, connect with your insurance broker to review your policy. Understand what you're covered for and ensure you have enough coverage to recover from a potential burglary.  

As you embark on your winter getaway, remember that a little caution can go a long way in safeguarding your home. By following these tips, you can enjoy your vacation worry-free, knowing that your house is well-protected. 

If you're a current Orbit policyholder and have any questions about your home insurance coverage, call 877-976-7248 to review your policy or learn more about your coverage options.

If you're shopping for home insurance and would like to request a quote, contact an Orbit broker at 877-976-7248.