Adding photos vs safety

On the Trusted Housesitters website, I read that it is wise not to put photos of your home or yourself as owners on your listing. But in the profile setup, we are asked to put in photos of us and our home. I understand that as a sitter the more info the better, but not sure how to be safe with the listing. Any thoughts?

@Dog try to strike a balance between providing enough information for potential sitters to feel comfortable, while also protecting your privacy. Once you create your listing the website will guide you what are the required photos for you listing to go live. Consider using general photos of the inside of your home without revealing too many specific details that could compromise your security. When it comes to photos, you could share images that give a sense of your lifestyle without necessarily showing identifiable features, such as street name/street numbers, vehicle license plates etc.

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Thank you. They do require photos of owners though, right?

I don’t think so, besides the small profile photo, but I see a lot of listings without a profile photo. We are sitters, so we unfortunately, in order to be selected for a sit, we do have to provide a lot more personal photos.

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Hi @Dog, I do understand your reticence in posting photos of your home and yourselves. However you also have to have some trust, otherwise why did you join? I have a combined membership and I remember feeling exactly the same way you do. I don’t use my owner side of the membership now so I just re-visited it to see what the requirements are now.

It does say you need to include a clear profile photo of yourselves ( trust me it’s so small we have difficulty seeing you!) so that sitters can see who they are connecting with. If I see something else used as the owner’s profile photo, I wonder why and tend to skip past these listings.

It also says to showcase your home and the rooms sitters will have access to, including at least one photo of the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area. Sitters want to see what they are getting as part of the equal exchange, something that owners sometimes forget about it being. I personally like to see a photo of the front of the house and garden, especially when applying for sits in the UK, because I love having the opportunity to stay in a period home, full of character. Seeing the garden also gives me an idea of how much watering, mowing etc there may be if it’s listed in responsibilities.

The effort you put into your listing will also influence the type of sitter you will attract. Experienced sitters are very discerning when it comes to deciding which sits they will apply for so making your listing as appealing as possible is to your advantage.

All the best!


I don’t think that’s the point.
I do trust the sitters, who need to see what they are applying for, but not only THS members can see my complete listing, including all pictures of the house and myself, but everybody, who clicks on the website.
This information should only be visible to members.

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@Dog THS only requires internal photos of the home for a listing . I am always surprised to see owners who have used photos that show their car registration and home name and photos of the grandchildren all of which THS advises against.

When posting external photos some owners who choose to do this have taken them from inside looking out on the garden etc…this makes it less easy to identify the property whilst giving potential sitters the information that need .

There is information on display on the website for all to see like sitters ages which I also feels invades my privacy .

I would like to see a larger photo of the homeowner but I agree that doesn’t need to be public but just needs to be seen by members and when there are live dates posted.

Why would you be surprised? An exterior view is often the most appealing. Also, it is not private in the same way that one’s bedroom is private.

@pietkuip was this in reply to my comment ?

I said

In UK with this information car registration and home name , location, owners first names …I could obtain documents from DVLA and steal someone’s identity , set up bank accounts in their name etc….THS warn against including photos with this kind of information and yet I see it often ( even though new listings have to go through a approval process ) that’s what I am surprised by.

Especially as these photos can not only be seen by 180k+ THS members but anyone who looks at the website.

@Silversitters You also mentioned exterior photos in the next paragraph.

How could a license plate be sensitive information? Anybody can see it, that is the purpose. Anybody can see cars in driveways, see the names on the letter box, etc. I know that the UK does not have a real register of inhabitants in the way that most countries in the rest of Europe have, but surely it cannot be that easy to steal someone’s identity?

And anybody with some serious money would be welcome to set up a bank account in my name :slight_smile:

Car registration on its own is not enough to steal someone’s identity but in UK when combined with a name and an address it is. Obviously I won’t share how on a public forum but the dangers are there . Identity fraud is a huge problem in UK. THS warn against including car registration plates in photos, ultimately it’s up to the Homeowners to decide what they feel comfortable about putting in their listing.

To reiterate, my surprise comes from the fact that THS say that they approve listings before they are made public and remove these kind of details and yet I see them repeatedly coming up on new listings ….

“We manually approve each new listing to ensure that the sit adheres to our Code of Conduct, Terms and Conditions and pet parent guidelines……

We have a minimum requirement with photos to include 5 interior and 2 pet photos (if applicable) -……

We also make sure that no personal information has been included in the listing by accident. Full names, the address of the home, car registration plates, street names, external URLs will be removed from the listing or listing photos to ensure the privacy of our members. “

@Dog we did not put a full photo of our home, nor is the full address anywhere online with THS, not even the welcome book.
Our listing is attached.

@HelloOutThere Just curious how/when you send the address if you don’t include it in the welcome guide and don’t want it anywhere on THS. Do you send it by email?

But surely, it must be on the map? And the mailman must have it? Maybe DHL and UPS too?

Maybe even Amazon?

Tsk tsk @pietkuip … don’t miss quote me…it would very unlike you to be inaccurate.

@systaran I send a word document or a Google doc link. I find the welcome guide ineffective.

The map shows the general area location, which is rather accurate. I send the address when the sit draws very near.

More personal info is in the printed welcome book left in the home, not info that anyone needs to make a decision about sit location.