What the Tech? Worry free vacations
A few things you can do to enjoy your vacation, knowing things are safe at home. Apps to turn old devices into a home security system and one thing you should do if you post vacation pictures to Facebook.
As people head off to the beach or mountains for summer vacation many are leaving behind an empty house. We've all had that feeling that we may have left a door unlocked but some of the things we're doing today on social media is even more dangerous.
It wouldn't be a vacation if you didn't share it with someone. That seems to be the case today with social media as millions of people choose to share photos and location when they are hundreds of miles away from home. That isn't a good idea. Many people do not realize that photos, videos and posts posted to Facebook publicly are available for anyone to see, even if they're not among your friends, and even if they're not on Facebook at all. That doesn't mean you can't post vacation pictures with a select number of close friends.
Before you leave for vacation, set up a list of Facebook friends closest to you. People you would trust even if they knew where you hide a spare key. To set up a list go to your complete list of Facebook friends. To the right of their name you'll see "Friends", or "Close Friends". By clicking on the arrow, you have an opportunity to add them to an existing list or set up a new list.
Then when you post something like your family at the beach, make it available for only that list of friends. You will find that option when you create a post. You'll see "Public" next to the "Post" button. Change that to your list of closest, most trusted friends. They'll be the only ones who can see that post.
If you don't have a home camera security system an app and an old device may work well. The app "Manything" is for iPhones, iPods and iPads, any ios device with a camera. Set it up on the device you'll leave at home, and the one you have with you. The app allows you to aim the old device at a door or window, and when the camera catches motion, you will receive a text message on the device you have with you. You can watch the video live or record it to show police later. Manything will also upload those images to a cloud server.
Manything has been released in a beta version for Android.
Android devices can use the app "Salient Eye" which works similar to Manything.
With either of these apps you will need to keep your device plugged into a power source so the battery doesn't run down.