Thinking of posting a holiday selfie on Facebook or Instagram, or even an upcoming event you are attending? Do you already have images of your newly purchased car, latest tech, or even a piece of fine art on your page? This is a prime example of how you could be exposing yourself to thieves, without even realising.
Research shows that 1 in 12 Brits have been burgled after posting on social media*. Studies have also shown that 51% mention their expensive purchases online, and 52% share their location, increasing to 79% when they’re on holiday*. The moment you post details about an upcoming trip, thieves can begin their own, to your unoccupied house. To help them, they use geolocation from smartphones, Google Street Map View, and scanning your social media pages for posts and information about you.
Follow our 7 tips to help protect yourself on social media.
- Check your privacy settings – ensure your privacy settings are secure to help you control who can find you, who can see your posts and who can contact you.
- Remove personal details – make sure your profile doesn’t have your phone number, home address, hometown or birth date visible. Having your personal details available makes it easier for burglars to locate you and can increase your vulnerability to identity fraud.
- Remove followers who you do not trust – often burglars use social media to find out where you live, work, eat out and travel to, just by scanning through your profile.
- Save posting on social media until you return home – going abroad or attending special events can be exciting. However, try and save posting your photos until your return, so thieves are unaware of your trip away from home.
- Turn off your location – location settings on your smartphone can reveal your location when posting on social media, telling thieves that your home is unoccupied.
- Check the post before sharing – before uploading a photo, check to see what is in the background. Is there a private possession which you would rather keep private? Or does the snap give away your specific location?
- Search for yourself – this is a good way to understand what other people can see when viewing your profile. If you find something you do not want others to know – change it.
We must also warn you that insurers are increasingly rejecting claims made if the customer has been burgled whilst on holiday, if they have shared a holiday snap on social media. The majority of insurance policies state that customers are required to take “reasonable care” when leaving their property unoccupied**. By sharing your location, or the fact that your property is vacant within your holiday posts, can be seen by insurers as not taking “reasonable care”.
If you would like some independent insurance advice on your high-value household or personal possessions, contact our dedicated Art & Private Clients team on 01653 697055 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more about McClarrons Affinity, here.