Do ‘I’M on Vacation’ Posts Pose Security Concerns?

Take a look at the article by that title on the Canoe Tech page.

It questions whether the tendency for people to put reply messages on emails that they are on vacation, or talk about their vacation plans or current locations on Facebook and Twitter is setting themselves up for breakins. Most people would not have a home voice-mail saying they are away, or let newspapers pile up on their doorstep while they are away – so is letting the world know about it by one’s web 2.0 tools any different?.

Take a look at the article and feel free to add your 2 cents worth in the comments.


  1. I love this related classic blog post from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner – “A friend of a friend knows you’re on vacation.”

  2. Combine this with Google Latitude Badge, and you are setting yourself to be burglarized :)

  3. Gmail allows you to limit the automatic reply to people on your Contacts list – which includes those you’ve sent mail to. It’s worth editing it down before setting the automatic reply, but worth it so people you care about don’t think you’ve “gone dark”.

  4. An office message can simply be “I’m out of the office until…” without implying “and the house will be empty till then”.

    A safer message for Facebook could be “I’m having a great time on vacation, except for occasional worries that our pit bull at home may be getting edgy for lack of food.”

  5. Mashable has a piece on this today,

    Michael Fraser, a “reformed burglar” working for the BBC (perhaps one of the more interesting job titles out there) calls it “Internet shopping for burglars.” The combination of a willingness to “friend” total strangers and open broadcasting about one’s holiday plans, whereabouts, purchases, home interiors and other personal information essentially creates a field day for professional burglars.

    …40% of social networking users share holiday plans on sites like Facebook (facebook) and Twitter (Twitter). They also found about 13% of Facebook users and 92% of Twitter users tend to accept friend requests or follows without checking up on the source.