10 July 2014

Posted by Discount Insurance on Thursday, July 10, 2014
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Most of us love to tell our friends and family what we are up to on social media, but think twice before you post that smug ‘cocktails on the beach’ status next time – you could be putting your home and possessions at risk.    
By telling the world you are going away on holiday and that your home is going to be unoccupied you are giving the green light to would-be thieves.
According to one survey, reported by the home security experts at Friedland, 78% of burglars use social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook to choose their victims. 
And it’s not just holiday updates you need to be wary about, by sharing your location information on Facebook or Twitter you are making your home an easy target for thieves. For example, if you have just ‘checked-in’ at your local gym and let the world know this on social media, then any potential thief who is trolling your page will know that you are not going to be home for an hour or so, and that this would be a great time to burgle you.
Remember, it only takes a couple of minutes to break into a home and only about 10 minutes to complete a robbery, consider this next time you consider posting about a quick trip to a local restaurant or café.
Wait until you are home

Whether you are heading off on a two-week vacation, or just meeting friends for dinner, the rule should remain the same: wait until you’re back home to publish updates and upload any photographs.

It is also unadvisable to post that you are currently home alone (and imperative that your children don’t do this), as again it gives would-be invaders a window of opportunity.

“We’re living in the age of the digital criminal and people are taking advantage of social media to access information about would-be victims. We’ll tell them even when we’re going away on holidays. We will let them know that we’re not in. We’re inviting them round to our house,” says Richard Taylor, a convicted burglar.

As much as we all like to make our friends green with envy, it is also a bad idea to post a picture of your new 42” plasma screen television too, as it might just catch the eye of an opportunist thief.  

Less is more

Check your privacy setting for social media applications, make your pictures and posts available to genuine friends only. How well do you really know that guy you worked with briefly three years ago?

Do not post your full address, date of birth and names of any children/partners, by oversharing on social media you are also at risk of identity theft and fraud.  

Simple steps to protect yourself online

  •          Search for yourself online to find out what information about you is freely available
  •          Check your privacy setting on each social networking site you use - be wary of "friends of friends" permission settings – think about how far this widens your network
  •          Check which online applications have access to your private data, be wary of small third-party applications
  •          Be cautious when it comes to friend or connect requests from people you've never met
  •          Think twice about what you publish – such as your date of birth, where you live, details of new purchases such as electronic equipment and your plans such as holidays or evenings out.
Protect your home and possessions today with great value home insurance from Discount Insurance – call 0800 294 4522 now for quick quote!