While the state of Florida is bracing for the effects of Hurricane Irma, many are taking to social media to check on their friends and family to see if they're staying or if they're going.
The majority of those people are sharing their evacuation process, photos of the trip, boarded up homes and more, leaving their empty homes and valuables vulnerable to criminals on social media.
It's best to tell your closest family and friends what your plans are over the phone or via text message, but not on social media.
You may think your privacy settings keep your information and photos secure but most posts can be seen by anyone, so it's just safer not to advertise that you won't be home for a few days.
If you have location services turned on for your Facebook app, your location is shown with every post. This could help criminals zone in on your exact location of your home.
If you really want to let everyone know how you're doing during the storm, your best bet is to just share that you're safe (with your location services off) and leave it at that.
What if someone (friend, family) asks you how you're doing on your Facebook profile? Just private message them to let them know your plans. If you want to share your evacuation story with everyone, just post the photos and story once you're back to your home.
Post photos that you took while you were away when you return.
While you're busy making sure your home is safe before you go, it's always good to make sure you're also being safe with your social media presence in a time like this. Don't give the criminals what they want.
Hurricane Supply Kit Checklist | Things to know before the storm | Preparations for your pets | Power outage maps & resources | Know your evacuation zone | Price gouging: How to protect yourself and report it | Insurance protection: Video tape home inventory | Tampa Bay sandbag locations | Find a hurricane shelter near you | Hurricane Irma Emergency Phone Numbers