Don’t become a victim of social media burglary

As more and more of us run our lives through social media, it can be easy to forget the real-life risks that sharing too much can create. Don’t become a victim of social media burglary.

Most social media websites and apps now allow you to share your location at any point in time. This makes it abundantly clear that you’re not in your home – not the type of information you want falling into the wrong hands.

And what about posting about your expensive purchases?

Sharing your holiday booking plans or posting a picture of your newly purchased items may be tempting, but it also lets followers know a little too much information about what might be in the house and when you’ll be out of the country.

Even the police are warning about oversharing…

If you share pictures of your latest trip, location and dates for when you’re away, insurers may view this as ‘reckless’, which could potentially invalidate your cover.

This is because most insurance policies state that you must take ‘reasonable care’ in securing your home and its possessions, which includes being discreet about any holidays. So by making your whereabouts public to everyone, the implication is that you’re not being careful enough in protecting your home.

Some insurers are even looking into social media activity when it comes to claiming on your home insurance policy. And those who check-in on Facebook to reveal where they are at the moment may also be refused a payout from their insurer.

While it’s great to get in touch with your friends and family, be careful about what you share online as you never know who may see your activity.

Here are some tips to keep your information safe online:

  1. Think seriously about who can read your posts, and secure your profile by checking privacy settings.
  2. Most smartphones now come with GPS trackers – so if your location is automatically switched on, this could make you an easy target.
  3. Think before you share – do you really need to make your address public? You can easily edit your profile if you want to restrict your personal information online.
  4. If you’re going away, make the house appear lived in. If you have newspaper or milk deliveries, cancel them. Consider getting timers for your lights, and ask a family member or neighbour to come round to put the bins out.
  5. If you’re unsure what information is out there, just Google yourself and you’ll be able to see what others can see about you.