Holidaymakers risk burglary over social media posts

14 June 2018

Holidaymakers are being warned to limit their social media exposure while abroad this summer to prevent signalling that their homes are unoccupied.

Insurance provider Policy Expert has issued a warning to holidaymakers that exposing their holiday activity on social media could present an invitation to criminals.

According to the insurer, over 800,000 households in the UK have at some point been burgled while the owner or occupier was on holiday. One in five (19%) of holidaymakers admits to sharing their holidays on social media. This, the company says, is putting people at risk from savvy criminals who monitor social media for signs that people have vacated their homes.

Adam Powell, operations director at Policy Expert, says a few changes and checks on your social media privacy settings are all it takes to ensure criminals can’t catch you out: “While sun-lounger selfies may make you the envy of your friends, it’s easy to forget that you could be letting opportunistic thieves know you’re away from home.

“You wouldn’t put a notice on your front door letting people know you won’t be home for two weeks, so why advertise to potentially hundreds of people on social media? Ensuring that your privacy settings are up to date and secure is a simple step to minimise the risk of any nasty surprises when you return from your holiday.”

Other prevention methods

Policy Expert says that two-thirds (67%) of those polled will let a neighbour know they will be away with a further one in five (22%) asking the neighbour to drop in to check on their property. Nearly half (45%) leave a car on the driveway to give the appearance of occupancy and a similar number (44%) leave indoor or outdoor lights on a timer to deter would-be burglars.

There are more ingenious ways still to prevent burglary as Moneywise found out talking to Dr Claire Nee, a forensic psychologist at the University of Portsmouth. Read our guide to entering the mind of a burglar for more.


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