Given the last 18 months, we’re all keen to get away now that travel restrictions are starting to loosen, but whilst your favourite celebrities or influencers post their beautiful holiday snaps on social media, is it ever a good idea to let people know you’re not home?
Social media has become ingrained in our everyday lives, with millions of people posting their every movement, especially on Instagram and Facebook. But while this may seem harmless, you may actually be doing more harm than good as you are advertising your home is empty.
Here at Adrian Flux, we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to protect your home while you’re away. Because advertising your home is empty could lead to a break in and in turn your home and contents insurance premiums may rise.
Don’t post holiday photos on social media
You may be really excited about your holiday and you may want to show your friends and family members that you’re at the airport having your McDonald’s breakfast or your full English at Wetherspoons. But advertising your home is going to be empty for the duration of your trip is never a wise idea.
The same can be said about posting snaps from beside the pool or beach or visiting a major landmark.
Instead try to refrain from posting while you’re away. It’s always better to post images and videos once you’re back in good old Blighty.
Set your social accounts to private
You may think what’s the harm in posting my holiday snaps on my social media accounts when it’s just my friends and family members who can see them? If they make up your followers and you’re desperate to upload while away, one security trick you can do is set your accounts to private.
If you are going to do this make sure that all of the settings are set to private. Whilst Instagram does this automatically, Facebook can be more complex so it’s best to double check.
Understanding your digital footprint
Not everyone on social media is who they say they are. If your account is set to public it’s worth taking a moment to check if you know the person, and if the friend or follower is genuine.
You may not think about your digital footprint, but it’s there regardless. It’s a term used to describe all the information you post online, including photos and status updates. Criminals can use this publicly available information to steal your identity or use it to make phishing messages more convincing.
To combat this you should:
- Have an idea about what your friends, colleagues or other contacts say about you online.
- Think about what you’re posting, and who has access to it. Have you configured the privacy options so that it’s only accessible to the people you want to see it?
- Consider what your followers and friends need to know, and what detail is unnecessary, but could be useful for criminals.
Beware of location services
Even if you’re incredibly careful about what you post about your home, your smartphone can embed location data into every image it takes. If that image is posted to a public platform like social media, it can be displayed in Google search results. Burglars can use the geotag within your images to track your movement, or to find out where you live – even if that information isn’t readily available anywhere else.
Install a security system
Consider installing a motion detection alarm, security lighting and security cameras, independent wall mounted cameras or doorbell cameras at your home.
Upgrade your locks
Upgrade door and window locks and make sure you use them. New locks may even pay for themselves because they could earn you a discount on your household insurance.
It has been a very worrying year but you can give yourself true peace of mind when going away by making sure you have the right level of insurance in place to cover you against domestic burglary. Adrian Flux is one of the leading specialist home insurance brokers in the UK. Our best deals are usually available over the phone so call 0808 167 6729 today.