Date Posted: 24-04-2017
Over the past few years the use of social media has increased dramatically. This, of course, can create both positive and negative outcomes depending on the type of content you post. For example, posting images of expensive and valuable items you may have received for a birthday or Christmas present can, in fact, draw the wrong kind of attention to you and your possessions. In order to minimise the risk of being subject to a targeted robbery it is wise to ensure your social media accounts are on the highest privacy setting to make sure that only those who you wish to share the post/image with can view it. Likewise, hanging up birthday banners on your front door or in windows can be seen by robbers as advertising new items you may have acquired and in most instances, means there is cash in the home. We would advise keeping the celebrations behind closed doors, this way the chances of being targeted are minimised.
Similarly to this, ‘checking in’ via social media when you are going away for a period of time is becoming more and more common. However, by doing this you are essentially advertising that your home is unoccupied, making it a prime target for robbers who may somehow see your post. In this instance it would be safer to withhold from ‘checking in’ and saving pictures and updates until you return. This will not only help keep your home safe whilst you are away, but also gives you a well-deserved break from social media and technology so you can just relax and enjoy your holiday!
Moving on from the risks that social media may cause, there are many more preventative methods you can take to reduce the likelihood of having your home or possessions targeted for robbery. As mentioned in most security posts we would advise – again – that all windows and doors are kept secure AT ALL TIMES. Leaving doors and windows unlocked only makes it easier for your home to be targeted but it can also invalidate your home insurance. If there is no evidence of a forced entry and it appears a burglar entered in through an unlocked door, your home insurer may refuse to meet your claim.
Most burglars will try to avoid any houses that have a dog, regardless of the size, as this will alert the home owner or neighbours that someone is inside your home. It is beneficial to advertise that you have a dog, such as by hanging a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign and/or leaving a bowl and lead or chain by the back door to further reassure this. Both of these strategies can also be beneficial even if you don’t own a dog, burglars aren’t likely to want to check the legitimacy of these claims in case they do alert the dog and thus alert the owner.
To fully try to minimise the risk of your home being targeted it is important to ensure your home looks ‘hard’ to a burglar, yet still inviting to everyone else. In order to do this it is recommended that you keep your garden well-manicured as overgrown grass could suggest vacancy. By keeping it trimmed not only will the burglars be aware that the home is occupied but it also suggests that you pay close attention to your home which is not an attractive quality for a burglar. When purchasing new electronic devices such as televisions you should try and install them so they are not visible from street view, if you place it on a wall directly adjacent to the window then anyone and everyone knows you have a 42” flat screen. Keep items such as this and computers in concealed areas of your home to keep the world from knowing what expensive items you own. Another key tip for keeping these items secure would be to destroy the boxes these valuable items come in. If you leave the box for your flat screen at the bottom of your driveway then this advertises to everyone that you have just purchased a new TV, cut it up before putting it in the recycling bin so that your new purchase isn’t widely known.
Openly discussing valuable items you may own or have recently purchased could put your home in danger. By not keeping quiet about the contents of your home you could be letting burglars know that you have expensive items that they may want to steal. You never know who could be listening so it is best, in this situation, to just keep quiet about what you own in public situations.
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