Social Media can Help Burglars Target your Home

A THIRD OF PEOPLE (34%) REGULARLY POST UPDATES THROUGHOUT THEIR TIME OFF ON HOLIDAY

Whether it’s that #nofilter shot of a sunset, the “hot dogs or legs” photo, or checking in to an intimate beach-side dinner, many of us love to show the world what we’ve been up to on our holidays. Aviva’s Travel Report revealed that over two thirds (44%) of people post to keep friends and family up to date, but a fifth (21%) admitted it was to brag to their online friends. But these innocent holiday updates could be putting your home at risk, as ADT recently unveiled that 78% of burglars use social media to target properties*.

So, how Can We Prevent Burglars Through Our Social Media Profiles?

Aviva spoke to Anthony Neary, MD of Safe.co.uk – to find out how burglars can use social media to target homeowners who’re on holiday, and how people can be more savvy with personal information being put on social profiles.

“Tagging your location, such as at the airport, is advertising your empty home to anybody who has access to your profile. Social media can also be used to identify work or social patterns which helps a burglar find out what the best time of day is to break in to your home.”

“Facebook and Twitter make it very easy to find user details with very little effort; Facebook is particularly easy as many users forget to make details private. Instagram is also commonly used to display holiday snaps which creates a virtual road map of potential targets.”

“The use of privacy settings is essential for protecting sensitive information. Each social media platform includes a section which allows you to choose who can see the information you post. It’s a good idea to keep sensitive information about yourself private or only visible to close friends and family.”

How Can We Prepare Our Social Media Profiles Before Going Away?

  • The first thing to do is update your privacy settings. This can be done on most social media sites fairly easily, and Neary’s advice is, “keep sensitive information about yourself private or only visible to close friends and family.”
  • Next, think about what you’re actually posting. Is it really worth showing your latest laptop purchase or the fact you’re not home for two weeks? Wait until you’re home to share holiday snaps, and don’t tell strangers about big purchases.
  • Be aware that some apps have GPS trackers. If your location is switched on on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you might reveal your address to thieves.
  • Don’t forget the usual home security measures, as even if burglars know where you are, this will hopefully stop them getting in.

You can find the original research for this story through the URL below:

https://www.aviva.co.uk/home/home-advice/home-security/article/how-social-media-helps-burglars/

For people going away in the near future, you can find our holidaymaker’s home security checklist here:

https://www.aviva.co.uk/home/home-advice/home-security/article/holidaymakers-home-security-checklist/

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