Don’t post holiday snaps on Facebook in case you get burgled, people are warned
PUBLISHED: 07:35 04 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 04 March 2018
PA Archive/Press Association Images
Sharing photos while we relax on sunkissed beaches on holiday has become second nature for many of us.
But posting holiday snaps on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could put you at a higher risk of burglary, it has been warned.
The alert comes after the insurance company Swinton Group said people in Norwich are more likely than elsewhere in the region to make risky social media posts, in effect advertising that their homes are unoccupied.
It warned about the dangers of over-sharing information after its analysis showed that 88pc of people’s Twitter feeds and public and 66pc of people’s Facebook biographies include the town where they live.
There were also found to be 1,093 risky posts by people in the fine city.
“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,” said Richard Beaven, distribution director at Swinton Group.
“Over-sharing has now become a part of everyday life. Many people are making themselves vulnerable to preying 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.”
Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said thouseholders must “wake up and smell the coffee” and be “sensitive to the pervasive nature of social media”, adding: “When we lock our houses to go away on holiday, we take appropriate precautions.
“We have to get into the mindset of doing that on social media so we don’t advertise our property as being unattended.
“There are predatory people out there. It is not just friends and family watching holiday snaps but potentially everyone in the world.”
Tips to minimise risks include avoid tagging locations, wait until returning home before posting pictures and updating privacy settings so that only friends and family can see posts.
One of the most famous incidents of potential over-sharing was in February last year, when footballer John Terry’s Surrey home was burgled while he was away on a family ski trip. During this trip, he shared holiday snaps across his social media accounts, revealing his house was unoccupied.