In light of Home Security Month, we wanted to help guide people through protecting their homes from opportunist thieves all over the UK. With October comes Halloween and Bonfire Night: a time when families and friends will be sharing their happy memories though social media.
Unfortunately these innocent updates could be putting homes at risk, as ADT recently unveiled that 78% of burglars use social media to target properties.
How Can We Prevent Burglars Through Our Social Media Profiles?
Aviva spoke to Anthony Neary, MD of Safe.co.uk – to find out how burglars can use social media to target homeowners who’re out the house, and how people can be more savvy with personal information being put on social profiles.
“Tagging your location is advertising your empty home to anybody who has access to your profile. Social media can also be used to identify work or social patterns which helps a burglar find out what the best time of day is to break in to your home.”
“Facebook and Twitter make it very easy to find user details with very little effort; Facebook is particularly easy as many users forget to make details private. Instagram is also commonly used to display holiday snaps which creates a virtual road map of potential targets.”
“The use of privacy settings is essential for protecting sensitive information. Each social media platform includes a section which allows you to choose who can see the information you post. It’s a good idea to keep sensitive information about yourself private or only visible to close friends and family.”
How Can We Prepare Our Social Media Profiles Before Going Out?
• The first thing to do is update your privacy settings. This can be done on most social media sites fairly easily, and Neary’s advice is, “keep sensitive information about yourself private or only visible to close friends and family.”
• Next, think about what you’re actually posting. Is it really worth showing tagging your location when you’re out the house? It may be worth waiting until you’re home to share any family snaps.
• Be aware that some apps have GPS trackers. If your location is switched on within Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you might reveal your address to thieves.
• Don’t forget the usual home security measures (see below), because even if burglars know where you are, this should help to deter thieves trying.
Former Burglars Say Barking Dogs & CCTV Are Best Deterrent
According to The Guardian, burglars are most likely to be put off breaking into homes by CCTV cameras, barking dogs, strong heavy doors, a TV being switched on and locked UPVC windows.
Top 10 Deterrents for Burglars
- CCTV camera
- Sound of a barking dog
- Strong, heavy doors
- TV that has been switched on
- Locked UPVC windows
- Cars parked on driveway
- Overlooking property
- Surrounding fences
- Gates outside the property
- Motion-activated security lights
Top 10 Deterrents for Car Thieves
- CCTV street camera
- Car alarm
- Street lighting
- Car parked on a driveway
- Newer vehicle
- Steering lock device
- Older car
- Neighbourhood Watch-designated areas
- Car parked in a dark alleyway
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