How Your Social Media Activity Can Lead to Break-Ins

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We often hear the phrase ‘stay safe’ from loved ones when heading away on our travels but it’s never meant in the context of our social media updates, yet our personal postings are making us increasingly vulnerable to burglaries. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in our social media bubbles snapping pictures of our current locations and overlook the amount of information we are providing to potential burglars who are on the hunt for houses to target.

With the line between our online and offline worlds becoming increasingly blurred, here are 5 things to avoid before pressing publish:

Check-Ins –

If you can resist the urge to check in in real time, then please do.  It’s basically telling the world you are not at home with the likelihood no one else is either. This is especially true if you tag a partner, family member or housemate. You may also be making them inadvertently vulnerable to a break-in.

Uploading Pictures of Expensive Items –

Who isn’t excited by a fancy and often long-awaited new purchase? However, posting images of valuables gives away what’s up for grabs for a burglar. This also includes images you might post of you and some friends in your sitting room with your giant smart TV visible in the background so check all aspects of the image before publishing.

Sharing Your Schedule –

The classic airport check-in is the most obvious example to stay away from, especially when it’s followed with words like ‘2 weeks in the Algarve with the entire family, then it’s a week up North with my sister.’ It’s easy to give all the info amid the excitement but it’s giving the burglars all the facts they need. The longer they know you are out of the house, the more time they will have to find your hidden valuables.

Identifying Your Address –

This might seem harmless but with Google street view, burglars can case out homes and areas that would be prime targets without having to leave their own. Coupled with information about when the premises are empty makes their job a lot easier.

Loose Privacy Settings –

It may seem obvious to ensure your profile settings are private but there is even a big difference between friends and friends of friends seeing your posts. It’s also easy to change it to the public option if it’s a post you want to be shared. The intention might be harmless, but it could have negative repercussions for the safety of your home.  

One way to potentially combat these issues is to reverse stalk yourself on your social media profiles and see what it looks like from an outsider points of view and what information can be accessed or gathered about you. Better still, get a friend to do it as a fresh pair of eyes, you might be surprised what they can find.

Just like we can be blissfully unaware of how our social media updates may give burglars the precise opening they are looking for, so too can our homes. It can be tricky to see something you look at every day in a new light and a potential vulnerability in your home can be overlooked. There are plenty of simple measures that can be taken in your home to warn off intruders which work in conjunction with your safety online. One great example is these 30 tips by AXA insurance which show how easily taken precautions could prevent break-ins. Now more than ever we need to make sure everything we do in our online, as well as our offline lives, are keeping us and our homes safe.

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