Timothy over at Charles & Hudson was kind enough to send us a heads up about this helpful and relevant holiday online security guide for all of us with an online social life, where announcing our comings and goings might jeopardize our real life home security. Included below are five excellent tips from Charles & Hudson to make sure your holidays are spent safely so all your stories afterward are about fishing, not phishing!
1. Do not announce on your answering machine or voicemail that you will be on vacation. Tell important family members and friends that you'll be gone and then you won't need to announce to anyone that calls that the house is empty.
2. Do not setup any email auto-reply with an out-of-office notification. Again this announces to the world that you are gone and the convenience of leaving a return date makes it even easier for crooks to figure things out.
3. Re-think your status updates. If you must make a status update to your social media profile (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) about your holiday plans, leave the dates and locations out.
4. No Addresses Anywhere. It's best to not include your physical address on any of your social media profiles. The city is as specific as we'd get. Anyone that needs to find you should know you.
5. Don't go Phishing. Be diligent, not just during the holidays but throughout the year, of opening/answering emails or Twitter direct messages that ask you to update account information which would include sharing a login, password or address. The phishing emails are getting more and more crafty. If you suspect something but don't want to overlook a potential account issue then contact the bank, vendor or account directly by phone.
Charles & Hudson also includes a complementary home security post worth checking out highlighting an additional real world checklist now that you've secured your online life.
[Desktop image in photo from our favourite local record shop, Vacation Vinyl]