Many Iowans are taking their last vacations of summer and while they may be excited to share photos of their far-away experiences on social media platforms, it may not be wise to do so when they’re still on the trip.

Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Timmons recommends you resist the urge to post pix of those beautiful beaches or misty mountains. “You go on vacation, you get on social media, you post pictures that you’re gone, you’re saying that your house is wide open and that your life is right there and everybody knows you’re not there,” Timmons says. “Don’t be posting pictures of your vacation until you get home.”

If one of your Facebook friends comments on or “likes” your vacation photos, it’s possible your settings will also allow that person’s friends to see your photos — and suddenly, hundreds or thousands or people may see that you’re not home.

“When you do leave, if you’ve got a neighbor that you trust, tell them you’re going to be gone, keep an eye on your place, maybe they should have a set of keys for your house,” Timmons says. “Then think about cameras. You wonder what’s going on at home? You can get on your smartphone and you can look around your place to see what’s going on and if anything activated your cameras.”

The sheriff also suggests contacting your local law enforcement agency to see if they offer a vacation watch service, which is often free.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)