Staying safe while away: don’t use social media, and make sure to lock up valuables

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Texting and driving

HARTFORD–Before your thumbs start moving, think about what you’re posting to social media.

AAA Insurance is reminding people how dangerous it can be to post vacation photos and messages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.

More than 35 million Americans are expected to travel for Labor Day weekend, and empty homes increase the risk of burglaries.

It’s recommended that you lock your windows and doors, as well as any valuables and important personal documents in hour house.

“We are all guilty of leaving critical information sitting around on a desk or by our computers.  And, it’s the first thing burglars take for future access to your credit cards, bank account or Social Security Number,” says AAA Insurance spokesman Tom Beidleman.

The social media alert is given because advertising your not home to others is a message that your home is empty, making you a target.

New Britain police Chief James Wardwell said, “Nearly all residential burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Advertising on social media that your house will be unoccupied is not a good idea.”

Here are some more tips on how to stay safe while you’re away:

  • Lock bills, bank statements and sensitive personal documents in a safe place
  • Hide prescription medications – often the 2nd most valuable to thieves, after personal information
  • Don’t share your vacation plans on social media – wait until you are home to post pictures
  • Turn off water – regardless of the time of year
  • Lock up automatic garage door openers
  • Hide or lock up keys for vehicles left at home
  • Put a few lights on timers with varying start times
  • Stop mail/newspaper, even for a few days
  • Notify your alarm company
  • Notify a trusted neighbor