Most of us will be guilty of it!
When it comes to holidays and social media, we often can’t help ourselves. A cheeky ‘check in’ on Facebook when we get to the airport. An Instagram snap of your hotdog legs by the pool or at the beach. Or just a few photos of sunsets and sundowners from your exotic location.
But have you ever considered that oversharing details of your holiday on social media won’t just annoy your friends? It could leave your home at risk of being burgled.
A new survey by insurers Swinton Group and security experts Yale UK has revealed that your social posts can increase your risk of being burgled.
According to crime data, 49 percent of burglars are known to the victim, and therefore could be tracking their habits on social media. So by letting everyone know you’re away, you could be opening your home up to thieves.
Interestingly, some cities are much more prone to making ‘risky’ social posts than others. Entries classified as ‘risky’ include posts about being on holiday or away from home, or those about buying expensive items, such as a new car. Does your hometown love to show off, or keep it discrete?
‘On Twitter alone, 88 percent of all profiles are public,’ Richard Beaven, distribution director at Swinton Group. ‘In our small study of 3,000 random UK tweets, a staggering 66 percent of user’s biographies include the town they lived in. Regardless of the information, you share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, burglars can piece together key facts about a person by linking information across all platforms.’
‘Oversharing has now become a part of everyday life,’ he adds. ‘Many people are making themselves vulnerable to praying burglars by publicly sharing when they are out of the house, away on holiday and even posting about expensive purchases. We’re keen to make social media users aware of how much information they are sharing across all channels, who can see this and act on it.’
‘But does that mean I can’t share my holiday snaps with my friends?’ we hear you cry! Well, no, it doesn’t need to be that drastic, which is why Swinton and Yale have come up with these top tips for managing your social media when you are away.
Ways to make your social media safe from burglars
1. Set your social media accounts to private, so that only your family and best buddies can see what you’re posting.
2. Wait until you get back home before posting your pics.
3. Don’t tag yourself in locations – disable your GPS and geo-tagging in your phone and app settings.
4. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know and trust.
Follow these simple rules, and you’ll be able to share your holiday memories safely. Right, time to book a sunny break!