Earlier this month, while attending the GBTA 2017 Convention in Boston, MA, I posted an Instagram story and tagged my location. Minutes after posting the story I received messages from some of my followers asking, “How’s Boston?” and “What are you in Boston for?”. It took me a minute to figure out they knew I was in Boston. It was because of my Instagram story tag. I looked a little deeper into who had watched my story and noticed that since it was tagged in Boston, the story had been automatically added to a larger story of all people who tagged Boston as their location. Anyone who searched Boston, MA had access to knowing exactly where I was and who I was. This was a reminder that although social media is a wonderful tool to spread our message and engage with our online communities, when you are a female traveler your social media practices should be met with caution.
Here are some tips to keep yourself safe when sharing your travels on social media:
Facebook – As much as you want to immediately ‘Check In’ your latest location and let all your friends and family know exactly where you are, be wary of posting real-time location updates, especially if you have an open Facebook account.
Instagram – Take a picture or else it did not happen, right? Take the picture, but hold off on posting the photo immediately. It is safer to post that awesome photo when you are traveling to the next destination, especially if you plan to geotag your location.
Twitter – Live tweeting reviews of your hotel or that restaurant you just dined at? It is best to rave (or rant) about your accommodations after you have checked out, or once you have left the restaurant. Be vague in your tweeting timeline, as opposed to giving exact times when you were at your accommodation or location.
Free Wi-Fi – We all love a restaurant, hotel, conference center with free Wi-Fi, but be vigilant with what websites and social media apps you are using on free Wi-Fi. These connections can make you more vulnerable to hacking.