Smartphone screen with social media apps
As social media has become a regular part of our everyday lives, identity thieves, cyber and real-life criminals have become more sophisticated in how they use the information people post online. (Photo: iStock)

From a simple weekend away at the cottage to a long European escape, planning and going on a vacation is always exciting.

Vacation is meant to be a relaxing, stress-free time, but posting about your vacation on social media can be an advertisement to cyber and real-life criminals. In our ever-increasing digital world, it's important to know what you shouldn't share online. You never know who will care about what you share.

Here are five cyber savvy social media safety tips from UHN Digital for your next vacation:

1) Resist the "I'm going on vacation" social media announcement

Excited for your holiday that's 10 days away? Of course you are! But that doesn't mean you should post a countdown to your social networks. It could take the guesswork out for potential burglars wondering when you'll be away from home.

2) Disable location services on your phone

Location services on your phone often run in the background unless you turn it off. Go to your settings and disable your location services so no one can figure out where you are. Usually, it's as simple as hitting a button.

Not sure how to disable your location services? Here's how:

3) Tighten up your tagging settings

Change your social media settings so that posts that people tag you in won't automatically pop up on your page. Your traveling companions might tag you in a photo, and this is another way that thieves can figure out that you're not home.

4) Be aware of how secure the Wi-Fi connection you're using is

When you're traveling, the available Wi-Fi might not be the most secure. Consider how secure the network you're using is and let that guide the actions you take online.

5) Post about your trip once you're home

Don't post information about your trip until you are home. Of course, the urge to share is strong, but do criminals really need to know that you're away?

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