Of course you want to snap a lot of vacation photos and share them with your friends and family on social media—and you should! But there are a few exceptions to this rule.
The One Vacation Photo You Should Never Post on Social Media: Geotagged Photos
Geotags are fun to use, but criminals can use them to pinpoint where you are and target you and/or your belongings. To avoid sharing this information, there are two steps you can take.
- Simply wait until you return home to post images from your vacation. (You can safely post with geotags to show where you were, if you prefer.)
- Turn off geotagging on your camera. If using a smartphone camera, you can go into the location services under “Settings” and turn it off for the camera. If using a regular digital camera, check the manual for your model to find out how to disable geotagging. It’s also a good idea to disable location services for social media networks.
Other Vacation Photos You Should Never Post on Social Media
You would be amazed at the number of people who post images of their official identification without blocking out any of their personal information. “I see people posting photos with their driver’s license and passport,” says Keryn Means of Walking on Travels. “That’s just stupid! Identity theft is real.”
Boarding Passes and Attraction Tickets
Of course you want to show off that first-class status or amazing destination you’re about to visit. But if you post an image of your entire boarding pass, you’re providing tons of information to criminals. Hackers can use every bit of that info to steal your identity: your full name, your frequent flier number, the airline, and especially the bar code. Plus, the dates announce exactly when you’ll be away from home. “That screams, ‘Come and rob my empty house, please,'” says Jenn Greene of Journeys with Jenn. The same goes for attraction tickets and show tickets—any image of a ticket with a bar code can be scanned for your personal information. Think full name, address, credit card information and more.
Hotel Room Numbers
A surprising number of vacationers will snap an image of their hotel room door with the number on full display. Couple that with photos displaying where you’re staying, and you’ve provided criminals with directions to you and all of your stuff.
If you’re traveling to a foreign country, it may be tempting to take a photo of all those different looking bills. If you post that, along with any photos of specific locations, you’ve given a stealthy mugger an easy way to find some cash. And obviously, posting photos of your credit cards gives the entire world access to your numbers, and they can go to town buying things online.
Naked Babies or Toddlers
They look so cute in the bathtub or running through the hotel room, but posting photos of naked babies and toddlers on social media is never a good idea. Some social media networks may see them as a violation of their terms of service and block the images—or your account—from the network. In a worst-case scenario, these images are providing content for child predators.
Clothing With Your Kids’ School Names
Kids love to show their school spirit, but posting vacation photos of your kids wearing clothes espousing their schools provides child predators with the information they need to track down your kids.