Security in the age of #travelgram…

Flying over the San Francisco Bay
Flying over the San Francisco Bay

I’ve just returned home from spending a working weekend in San Francisco. If you’ve ever traveled from the west coast to the east (in my case, SFO to NYC) you know what a trek that can be. It’s literally an all day trip made longer by the fact that you lose three hours in transit. Of course, it’s no match for a serious transatlantic flight that might take you across several time zones or the international date line, but it’s a doozy nonetheless.

Anyway, I just walked into my cozy NY apartment and reviewed the events of the day; waking up before dawn, sharing an Uber with my friend to SFO, watching the splendor of a west coast sunrise and enjoying being part of a new day dawning, checking in at the airport, etc, etc, etc. If you’re a blogger like me or just a traveler who loves taking photos, you understand the desire to document the entire process with pictures and videos to share on social media with the obligatory #travelgram as well as the hundreds (literally…hundreds) of other hashtags that people use when sharing travel photos. As I boarded my flight and got cozy during take-off I immediately wanted to snap pictures. I mean, I was flying over the San Francisco Bay. That whole area is beautiful from above. So I started snapping away. Not just before the flight, but during take-off over the bay, during the flight over the deserts and plains and even later once we got to the midwest and east coast (fall foliage is gorgeous from above). I got everything from just after sunrise to right before sunset. And I got to wondering about the possible security threats inherent when documenting our travels.

The last third of the trip!
The last third of the trip!

If you take a quick scroll through travel feeds you can see everything from a person’s boarding pass to the map showing where they are and where they’re going, what airport they’re in, even what they ate. People share where they’re going and how long they’re going to be gone with strangers and “friends”on all kinds of social forums. I’m definitely a fan of sharing travels (I mean…hello…this is a travel blog) but I’m coming to a place where I’m becoming more and more wary of when and what I share on my social networks. I mean, do I really want or need everyone to know that I may not be home for a long stretch of dates? Do I want or need everyone to know every bit of my itinerary while I’m still on the trip? When I think about the security issues that could arise from sharing that info my answer is a resounding “NO”. I’m not here to scold. On the contrary, I want to be able to share my travels while still remaining safe and insuring that my home and possible travel companions are also safe. With that thought in mind, here are a few tips for safely sharing trips on social media. These are not hard and fast rules, just pointers that may help add a bit more security to the excitement of sharing:

  1. Always share your detailed itinerary with a trusted friend and/or family member. Include all details for flights, excursions, accommodations, contact numbers and best ways to get in touch.
  2. Check in with friends and family members at home frequently during your trip.
  3. Be mindful of automatic time/date/location stamps on social networks.
  4. Be mindful of who can see your posts. For example there may be certain things that you only want to share with your friends and family on Facebook/Twitter that you might not want to share with the masses on Instagram.
  5. Consider sharing an activity only after you’ve completed it and moved on to the next portion of your trip/excursion. That way you’re not necessarily telling people where you are in real-time.
  6. Specific and personal details such as information that can be found on boarding passes, passports, and similar documents should not be shared via social media.

Do you have any tips to add to this list?

Like I said, these are not hard and fast rules, just a few tips for making sure your #travelgram isn’t full of TMI! With that said, keep sharing those travel pics that we all LOVE to see!
And speaking of love, here’s a random heart-shaped lake somewhere in Wyoming!

13 thoughts on “Security in the age of #travelgram…

  1. These are all great tips. I wrote a post about this same thing a while ago. I agree, people share a lot, especially bloggers, but there has to be a safe space… a comfortable medium. Also, people should notify their security companies that they will be away.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with all of your tips! My family is a military family, so when my husband was active duty Army, we were taught by his unit to not share travel information. That lesson has still stuck with me even a year after my husband has been out of the Army. I do the tip you gave about posting my “check in status” after I’ve completed the event. I also keep my settings on “friends”. Really good tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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