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The most dangerous thing you can post to your Facebook page or Twitter account is information about where you're going when you are not at home.

By telling the world you are on vacation in the Bahamas, or even just eating at your favorite local restaurant, you're letting potential thieves know that you're not at home.

Financial writers Ken and Daria Dolan warn that how you use Facebook and Twitter can be hazardous to your wealth!

"Burglars are fond of your constant updates," the Dolans told AOL. "Would you stand up in the middle of a crowd of strangers and announce that you're leaving on vacation for three days and then tell everyone your address? Of course not, but that's exactly what you are doing if you share such information online."

They cite the case of an Arizona man who told his 2,000 Twitter followers that he was leaving town. When he returned, he found his home had been burglarized and video equipment, worth thousands of dollars, had been stolen. "Even saying you are running to the mall, going out to dinner...is too much information," the Dolans explained to AOL.

One Web site recently found itself in the news for bringing attention to the problem. The site pleaserobme.com was designed to show how easy it is for anyone to sift through Twitter updates for a "feed" of people's current locations. The recent buzz caused confusion, because of course the site was not intended to give criminals the keys to your home. But it did achieve its goal of bringing much-needed attention to the potential danger.

Some insurance companies are catching on. Legal & General Insurance in New England says Facebook and Twitter users could be hit with higher homeowner's insurance premiums. Why? All that blabbing about activities away from home means they face a higher risk of burglary.

The company thinks burglars are actually "shopping" for victims on social media sites, looking not only for an indication you're not at home, but also photos of your home and valuables. That cute picture of your son hugging the dog? A burglar is looking in the background, eyeing your big-screen TV and new stereo system.

And it's not just adults. Teenagers are even more likely to post personal information, so Legal & General has warned that parents who aren't even online themselves could face higher homeowner's insurance premiums if their children are online. (Source)

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Salzberg Insurance Agency
249 East Little Creek Rd.
Norfolk, VA 23505-0649

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