Going on vacation and going to be away from the computer for a bit? All well and good, and it’s good to detach, right? Absolutely!
So let’s talk about how to do it safely.
1. Schedule posts to appear in your absence so nobody knows you’re away. How do you do this? Use a little tool called HootSuite. Available for free at hootsuite.com. You can schedule your posts, status updates or whatever to appear while you’re away. You can even get emailed to let you know that they’ve posted.
2. Don’t make an announcement that you’re leaving. The less people know, the better. Want to make all your friends eat their hearts out with jealousy over your great trip to Fiji? No problemo! It can wait until you get back safely.
3. Disable your wall so nobody can post on it. The people that know that you’re going on a trip may mean well and post something on your wall saying something along the lines of “have fun on vacation!” and alert would-be burglars to your absence for you. Scary! You can adjust this from your privacy settings.
4. Let people know that are close to you that you ARE telling that you’re going to be away not to post anything along those lines on your wall, or even to comment on what you’re saying with anything vacation-related in it. Tell them that you’re doing it for security reasons.
5. When you do post, keep the topics related to what’s on your mind, funny observations (a la Seinfeld!) and nothing to do with vacation, travel or being away from home.
6. Think before you post, and always enforce good privacy settings to classify those you know as acquaintances, casual friends, business colleagues, and tight friends and family. You can target status updates on Facebook to hit special lists that you set up ahead of time, and ensure that only who you want sees specific things they’re allowed to.
As a rule, these tips can be helpful to you even when going to a business event if you happen to work from home, a day trip to a month long tour around the world. I’ve read stories online (like this one) where people get their houses robbed while they’re gone, and robbers knew they were gone because of status updates on Facebook, Twitter, etc!! Talk about a major vacation spoiler, huh?
Be careful, friends and travel safe!
PS, guess what! I just got back from vacation and all my stuff is still here!! =)