For most of us, social media is part of our everyday lives. We use it to stay connected with friends and family, and share photos of exciting things happening in our lives – we might even use it at work. However, there are some security risks that come with documenting our lives on social media, and people have to be very careful about the types of images and personal information that they’re posting. You might have heard about people giving away sensitive bank details by posting photos where their bank cards are visible, giving hackers the information they need to access their bank accounts. But have you ever heard about social media being a risk for your home security? Here, we discuss the potential threats.
Telling criminals that your house is empty
If you’re going away on holiday or are visiting friends or family for the weekend, you might be tempted to post about it on social media. After all, what could be the harm of telling your followers what you’re up to? The problem is that, if you tell the public world of Facebook or Twitter that you and your family are going away for a few days, you’re essentially telling them that your house is going to be empty and unprotected. Even if you don’t specify that you’re all going to be away, a criminal may still be more likely to try their luck. By posting on social media about your holiday, you are basically advertising to criminals that your house is going to be empty. And, worse, if you post things like ‘Eight days until our trip to Spain’, you are even giving them an exact date. There are criminals who use social media explicitly for this purpose – to find clues and use posts about holidays to create their next burglary target.
The stats speak for themselves
Together Mutual Insurance recently did a study where they found that, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there were more than 1,500,000 posts in just 30 days containing personal holiday information. Such posts included clues like airport check-ins, locations of travel, and photos of passports (8 per cent of people surveyed did this) and boarding passes (5 per cent of people surveyed did this). A study by Friedland also found that nearly 78 per cent of the ex-burglars that they interviewed used Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to find properties to target, with 75 per cent saying that they then used Google Street View to get a better idea of the property!
Clearly, it is important to be careful when talking about your holiday online. If you do post about it on social media, make sure you keep specific, personal information to a minimum.
Here at Angel Security, we’ll help you keep your home as safe as possible with high-quality security systems and deterrents for thieves. If you live in Woking, Wimbledon, Mayfair or another part of London or Surrey, contact us today for a free, no-obligation quotation.