The one simple act that puts you at greater risk of being burgled

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  • Most of us will be guilty of it!

    When it comes to holidays and social media, we often can’t help ourselves. A cheeky ‘check in’ on Facebook when we get to the airport. An Instagram snap of your hotdog legs by the pool or at the beach. Or just a few photos of sunsets and sundowners from your exotic location.

    But have you ever considered that oversharing details of your holiday on social media won’t just annoy your friends. It could leave your home at risk of being burgled.

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    Image credit: Spike Powell

    A new survey by insurers Swinton Group and security experts Yale UK has revealed that your social posts CAN increase your risk of being burgled. According to crime data, 49 per cent of burglars are known to the victim, and therefore could be tracking their habits on social media. So by letting everyone know you’re away, you could be opening your home up to thieves.

    And another survey by Hillarys (the blind people) reveals that by bragging and oversharing online, one in 12 have then been burgled, with the majority having shared their location prior to the break in.

    Interestingly, some cities are much more prone to making ‘risky’ social posts than others. Entries classified as ‘risky’ include posts about being on holiday or away from home, or those about buying expensive items, such as a new car. Does your home town love to show off, or keep it discrete? Find out below…

    Region: South East (most risky region)
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Portsmouth
    Safest city for social posts: Dover

    Region: North West
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Manchester
    Safest city for social posts: Carlisle

    Region: North East
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Newcastle
    Safest city for social posts: Scarborough

    Region: East of England
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Norwich
    Safest city for social posts: Peterborough

    Related: 5 easy steps to keeping your home safe

    Old Hall Norwich 11

    Region: East Midlands
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Nottingham
    Safest city for social posts: Leicester

    Region: South West
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Bristol
    Safest city for social posts: Plymouth

    Region: Wales
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Cardiff
    Safest city for social posts: Swansea

    Region: Scotland
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Edinburgh
    Safest city for social posts: Perth

    Region: Yorkshire and the Humber
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Leeds
    Safest city for social posts: York

    Region: West Midlands
    City most likely to make risky social posts: Coventry
    Safest city for social posts: Stoke

    Region: Northern Ireland (least risky region)
    City most likely to make social posts: Belfast
    Safest city for social posts: Omagh

    Image credit: James Merrell

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    ‘On Twitter alone, 88 per cent of all profiles are public,’ Richard Beaven, distribution director at Swinton Group. ‘In our small study of 3,000 random UK tweets, a staggering 66 per cent of user’s biographies include the town they lived in. Regardless of the information you share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, burglars can piece together key facts about a person by linking information across all platforms.’

    ‘Oversharing has now become a part of everyday life,’ he adds. ‘Many people are making themselves vulnerable to praying burglars by publicly sharing when they are out of the house, away on holiday and even posting about expensive purchases. We’re keen to make social media users aware of how much information they are sharing across all channels, who can see this and act on it.’

    ‘But does that mean I can’t share my holiday snaps with my friends?’ we hear you cry! Well, no, it doesn’t need to be that drastic, which is why Swinton and Yale have come up with these top tips for managing your social media when you are away.

    Ways to make your social media safe from burglars

    1. Set your social media accounts to private, so that only your family and best buddies can see what you’re posting.

    2. Wait until you get back home before posting your pics.

    3. Don’t tag yourself in locations – disable your GPS and geo-tagging in your phone and app settings.

    4. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know and trust.

    Follow those simple rules, and you’ll be able to share your holiday memories safely. Right, time to book a sunny break!

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