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Posting holiday photos and tagging locations are putting some holidaymakers at risk of burglary, according to a new study by an insurance firm.
A survey by insurer Admiral has found that social users could be making their homes targets for thieves who are using the technology to track unaware homeowners.
The data showed that one in six social media users have fully open accounts, allowing anyone visibility. Three in ten (30pc) of people allow live check-in functions or location tagging while they’re away.
More than one in three (40pc) of us post pictures on social media while on holiday, Instagram users being the most likely to do so, with most, 70pc of people Instagramming their holiday. And one in six never check their privacy settings, with Facebook users being the least likely to do this. Three in ten (30pc) have also mentioned a future holiday on social media, notifying followers when they will be away from home. Former Crime Scene Investigator Alex Iszatt has worked with Admiral to help raise awareness around social media safety while on holiday.
“If your friends can see where you have checked in, so can a burglar. Criminals can get a good idea about where you live and use [Google] Street View to find the best way into your property,” advises Iszatt. “Turn off location-sharing features, update your privacy settings and stop broadcasting to people who aren’t in your immediate group of friends.
“Try not to post from your holiday destination – it is a clear advertisement that your house is unoccupied. If you really can’t stop posting your pics – then add them to an album and share only with your close friends and relatives.”
Noel Summerfield, head of home insurance at Admiral said: “Something as innocent as taking a holiday selfie could spell disaster if you’re not careful with your social media. We launched the Be Social Secure campaign to make more people aware about the ways that potential burglars can use technology to track you.”
For an infographic detailing the ways that burglars can break into your home: http://www.admiral.com/magazine/guides/home/staying-secure-whilst-on-holiday.