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Social Sharing Can Turn Dream Vacation into a Nightmare

March 11, 2014

DETROIT, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Are you headed out for some fun in the sun for spring break?  Meemic Insurance wants to remind you that law enforcement agencies and security experts warn against sharing the details of your trip with your social network to avoid tipping off thieves about the empty home you leave behind.

Social media has inundated virtually every aspect of our daily lives, offering a way to share experiences with friends and family in remarkable detail. It has become commonplace for people to share personal details about their daily activities, so it's only natural for them to continue this practice when they are on vacation. The problem is that many people overshare without fully understanding the potential consequences of their openness. 

"By posting status updates about your vacation, or checking in at locations miles from your home, you're basically announcing to the world that your home is empty," said Meemic Insurance Company spokesperson, Pamela Harlin. "While posting a few pictures of your family having fun at the beach while the snow falls back home may seem harmless, the message it sends to criminals is that they can safely enter your home without fear of being interrupted." 

According to a report completed last year by Consumer Reports, 4.8 million people have used Facebook to say where they planned to go on a certain day. That same report also found that 13 million users have never set, or didn't know about, Facebook privacy tools. 28 percent of users shared all, or almost all of their wall posts with an audience beyond just their friends. Even those that do pay attention to their own privacy settings can be undone by unwitting friends and family that don't use the same precautions and share your posts, photos or other information with their own social networks or check you in at locations without your consent or knowledge.

"Criminals used to have to go out and case a neighborhood to determine who wasn't home, and even if they figured that out, it was difficult for them to know for sure when the homeowner might return," said Harlin. "Now they can just go online and learn your home address, see many of your possessions from previous photos that have been posted, and learn details about travel plans including when you're leaving and when you plan to return." 

In addition to avoiding social sharing, there are several other simple steps that you can take to prevent your home from becoming a target while you are on vacation.  Stop or forward mail and newspaper deliveries and plan to have a friend or neighbor that you trust check on your home while you are away. Snow covered driveways and sidewalks can also be a giveaway that no one is home, so make arrangements for snow removal. The use of timers or smartphone apps to automate lighting can also serve as a deterrent for criminals.

About Meemic Insurance Company
Meemic Insurance Company ( provides personal lines insurance products to teachers and other educational employees in Michigan and Wisconsin. For more than 63 years, Meemic remains a Michigan-based company, proud partner of the educational community, committed to offering the finest possible protection, products and services at preferred rates. Trust Meemic for claims excellence, policy payment options to meet your needs and products tailored exclusively to the educational community we serve. Meemic is a financially strong company (A. M. Best rating effective February 2013). Our stability and reputation for integrity builds the confidence of our policyholders and remains the foundation for our continued mission to serve the educational community.

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