Tulsa Police Warn Against Posting Photos To Social Media During Vacations

Friday, December 27th 2019, 9:51 pm
By: Shannon Rousseau

Do you tend to post pictures to your social media accounts while on vacation? If you do, it's best to get out of that habit.

According to Sgt. Shane Tuell with the Tulsa Police Department, if you post your location on social media while you're out of town, you're more susceptible to be burglarized.

"If you post where you're at - and it's not home for the holidays - it's an invitation that you're posting to bad guys to potentially come and burglarize your home," said Sgt. Tuell.

This also goes for geotagging. That's when you've agreed to let your smartphone record your exact GPS location when you take a photo.

According to Lifewire, a technology information and advice website, thieves can extract the metadata from your geotagged picture, letting them know where you are when you snap that photo.

To protect your privacy, you can disable geotagging on your iPad, iPhone, or Android smartphone. To disable it on iPhone or iPad, go to: Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Camera>Off. If it's an Android device, open the camera app and tap on Settings. From the Settings, scroll down until you see the option “Geo tags” (or similar option) and disable it.

"It's a really tough thing to come back to if you're a homeowner. You've just enjoyed a great vacation, and your home's been burglarized,” added Sgt. Tuell. He doesn't have an exact number of how many people are burglarized while they're away for the holidays, but he said it tends to go up.

Even if you post a picture with your location to your friends, it can still turn sour.

"Those friends might have some unscrupulous relative who can see those posts: a son, daughter, brother, or sister. Someone who's not so good with the law; they're seeing those posts," Sgt. Tuell said.

His advice? Wait until you come home to post those awesome vacation pictures. Sergeant Tuell also recommends letting someone like a trust neighbor know when you're leaving town. That way they can pick up your mail and check your home, hopefully throwing off a potential burglar.


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