Don’t Post Your Christmas Photos On Social Media

After the holidays, everyone’s social media feeds fill up with photos of gifts people received. It’s fun to see what everyone got, but you should really avoid posting photos of Christmas gifts on social media. I found that out the hard way. That’s because posting photos of expensive gifts online is a great way to have your things stolen. Even without a spyware app, other people can find out a lot of information about you from your online profile.

I thought I was safe because I take online privacy seriously. I set my privacy settings to “friends only,” assuming that no one on my friends list would share my photos with other people. But I must have a couple of friends who are more dishonest than the rest. Last year, someone took my photos of my Christmas present from my husband, which was a diamond necklace. They did the same with photos of our kids with their new game consoles and tablets, and shared them all with people we didn’t know.

How People On Facebook Can Find You In The Real World

Facebook makes it pretty easy to find out people’s names. Once someone has your name and they live locally, they can find your address pretty easily. If they follow your social media account, they’ll be able see where you are and if you’re at home. The only way they can see this information without a spyware app is if you regularly post those updates.

People might try to steal from you if they know you're not home.
Don’t share your personal information and put yourself at risk for theft.

Not too long after I shared photos of my family’s Christmas morning, I checked in on Facebook at our favorite local Italian restaurant. My husband took us all out for dinner to spend some time together as a family. But when we got home, the front door was slightly ajar and one of the windows was smashed. We walked inside to find the entire house ransacked. Our Blu-ray player, as well as all of our movies, were gone. So was our Amazon Echo and all of our tablets. My jewelry was also missing, along with our kids’ gaming consoles. They were the same ones in those photos I posted on Facebook.

What I Learned – The Hard Way

I always heard that you shouldn’t post vacation photos on Facebook, because doing so tells thieves that you aren’t home. This means criminals can figure out where you live, without the use of a spyware app, and rob you. But I never imagined that posting photos of my holiday with my family, and making sure those posts were only visible to my friends, would be dangerous. I was shocked that my family was the victim of a crime. In addition, I was hurt because that meant that someone who I thought was a friend, really wasn’t. It just goes to show that even if you think you know everyone on your friends list, there might still be some people who really aren’t trustworthy.

So don’t be stupid like I was. Avoid putting yourself and your family at risk this Christmas. If you want to post photos of your holiday, make sure that none of your expensive gifts are in them. You never know where those photos will end up or who will be looking at them. Always be extra cautious when posting private information online, even if it’s just your Christmas gifts.