Is Social Media Putting Valuables at Risk?

Date Posted: 15-02-2016

In today’s world, social media is a much used tool for keeping in touch with family and friends and updating them on what you’re doing but it could also be putting your valuables at risk.

As the popularity of sites such as Facebook and Twitter continues to increase, many people start to forget the security risks of putting too much information online for anyone to see. While we all know not to put our bank details or other secure information on social media sites, but it is other pieces of information we may deem harmless which could be just the information a burglar needs to target your home.

For example, back in 2013, actress Helen Flanagan had her Cheshire home raided by armed intruders after tweeting that her boyfriend was away for the night. And it’s not just celebrities that have fallen into this trap, one family cited Facebook to blame after having more than £30,000 worth of possessions stolen.

How Do They Do It?

The things you post on social media can give burglars a lot of the information they need to plan a burglary on your home from details of the possessions you own (did you post pictures or updates about your Christmas presents?) to where you live (geo tags and pictures of your property) as well as the times you’re in and away from home.

Do you “check in” to places such as airport lounges and train stations? This gives a burglar the go ahead that your home will be empty for a prolonged period giving plenty of time to gain entry to your property and steal all of those expensive items you’ve been showing off online.

Top Tips for Social Media

1. Don’t share your personal details such as your address.

This might seem obvious but even just posting a photo of the outside of your home with your house number showing can alert potential thieves to your location.

2. Don’t “check in” to locations.

This is a clear indication that you are not at home and can even indicate how long potential thieves will have to break into your property.

3. Don’t post updates while you’re out of the country.

It can be tempting to post pictures of the view from your hotel apartment or post a status telling your friends that you’ll see them in 2 weeks but this is another way of telling thieves that your home and valuables may be unprotected.

4. Reassess your privacy settings.

While you may think that you are just sharing updates with your close friends and family, your page privacy settings may mean that your posts are public for all to see. For example, a large portion of Facebook’s default privacy settings are set to public viewing so make sure you check your settings before posting.

The amount of burglaries which have been related to oversharing on Facebook has led to a number of police forces speaking out in the past about thinking twice before posting updates on social media. Don’t let it be your home that is burgled next.

The Safe Deposit Centre Manchester provide safe deposit boxes to store your valuables offsite from just £40. Call us on 0161 273 7487 or complete our online form at the top of the page to reserve your box today.

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