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Going on Holiday? Home Security Risks on Social Media

Let’s set the scene: you and your family are off on your summer holidays shortly. Unconsciously, you start sharing your adventures with friends and family back at home. With the Accenture of social media, It’s second nature for us these days to take reams of sunshiny selfies and then post them all over our favourite social media platforms for everyone to see. But here’s a severe warning on the home security side. Your holiday stories, or the point that you are away from home and your property is empty, could easily be broadcast over the wrong news feeds unintentionally. The disturbing reality is that burglars frequently use social media to organise their targets. With this in mind, police campaign warning holidaymakers against unveiling their holiday plans to an online audience.

Research shows that social media channels are inundated with about 50,000 holiday-related posts daily and that around 80 per cent of burglars utilise social media to plot their next target. One in twelve holidaymakers’ homes is broken into after posts on social media documenting their travels.

So, how do you protect your belongings while you are away on holiday?

To enhance your home security and prevent burglars from targeting your house while you’re away, it’s crucial to be mindful of your social media activity. Burglars often use social media to determine when homes are unoccupied. Here are some tips to protect your home:

  1. Stay Discreet About Your Travel Plans: Avoid discussing your holiday plans on social media before and during your trip. By keeping quiet about your absence, you reduce the risk of attracting attention to your empty home.
  2. Postpone Sharing Your Holiday Experience: Save your holiday pictures and stories for after you return. Sharing them in real-time can signal potential burglars that your house is vacant.
  3. Avoid Real-Time ‘Check-Ins’: When you arrive at your holiday destination, resist the urge to ‘check in’ on social media platforms. Burglars can use this information to confirm that you’re not at home.
  4. Delay Online Reviews: Wait until you’re back home to post reviews of your accommodation or experiences on platforms like TripAdvisor. Remember, these reviews often include timestamps and location data, which can indicate that you’re away from home.

By following these precautions, you can enjoy your holiday with the peace of mind that you’ve taken steps to secure your home against burglary.

Tell other people to keep quiet.

It’s all very well and good staying tight-lipped about your holiday. But this is about as good a chocolate teapot if your loved ones jump on social media to wish you happy holidays. Be very clear to everyone that you don’t want to reveal your whereabouts, maybe hinting that they may choose to take the same path themselves when they go away. If your holiday is with friends and family, ask them not to tag you in any photos that they post. This leaves you just as exposed as you posting pictures yourself. If you believe you cannot trust your holiday comrades in this regard, the most helpful thing to do is go to your settings and turn off the facility for somebody to tag you.

Modify your privacy settings.

Are you conscious of who can see your posts? If you haven’t hardened your security settings, it may be that anyone with access to the internet could be having a right old nose through your chats and pictures. You determine your connections on social media, so you should decide who can see your posts. So, before going on holiday, visit your privacy settings on all the social platforms you use. Check that you are not sharing personal info with the wrong people. Make sure your settings are not public.

Also be sure to avoid publishing too much personal information around where you live, your date of birth and where you like to spend time. The less detail you share, the less inclined you are to become a victim.

Be Cautious With Your Home Insurance

Were you conscious that sharing aspects of your holiday online could invalidate your home insurance policy and any claim you may need to make if your assets are targeted while you are away on holiday? Many insurance policies will order policyholders to take sensible precautions in maintaining their property safe and secure. They may well view a social media post announcing that the property is empty as being in breach of this condition.

And Lastly… Secure Your Home Before You Leave

It’s essential to take steps to secure your home before you go on your holiday, so follow specific home security tips:

It’s essential to ensure the safety and security of your home. Begin by verifying that your alarm system is functioning properly and that its servicing is current. Equally important is to inspect any security lighting you have installed to ensure it’s in working order. If you haven’t yet invested in security lights, it’s worth considering. Lights that activate upon detecting motion are a powerful deterrent to potential trespassers.

Additionally, ensure that your home’s CCTV system is operating efficiently and that there’s sufficient storage to capture and retain footage. If you don’t have a CCTV system in place, consider installing one, not only for its deterrent value but also for the invaluable footage it can provide should you need to make a claim. Another effective strategy is to install timer lights that turn on during the evening, simulating the presence of someone at home.

Modern smart home security systems even allow you to manage devices such as lights and remotely close curtains or blinds using your smartphone, enhancing the illusion of an occupied residence.

Secure Your Home Before You Leave - A & E Locksmiths
  • Always ensure your locks are functioning correctly. Take all keys out of internal locks and hide them away in a safe or a securely locked cupboard. It is wise that the same goes for your car keys if you’re leaving your vehicle behind.

  • Never leave keys for anything in view around your home.

  • Secure any valuables in your safe or someplace else they can’t be reached. This covers tech, jewellery, money and any paperwork that could be used to steal your identity.

  • Ensure hedges and bushes are beautifully trimmed and the lawn mowed to give the appearance that your property is lived in.

  • Cancel any deliveries so there are no items left outside to draw attention to the possibility you are away from home.

  • Ask a trusted neighbour to keep watch on your property and ensure that there is no post-left hanging out of the letterbox. That’s another telltale sign for thieves.

  • Even better would be for someone to go in every few days to pick the post up off the mat.

Home Security Advice from A & E Locksmiths

Here at A & E Locksmiths, we have the expertise you require to protect your property. Whether you are off on holiday or ordinarily need to heighten the security of your home, we are here to assist. Contact us for the specialist advice you need.

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