Across the UK, over 42 million of us use social media sites to post our daily outings, events and trips abroad to our friends and family, in the hope of keeping them up to date with our busy schedules. Although our loved ones may enjoy seeing what we all get up to in our daily lives, it's fair to say that they may not be the only ones.
With so many opportunities for potential burglars to gain access to our personal information on social media sites, we decided to team up with insurance retailer, Swinton Insurance, to highlight the risk of sharing too much online, and provide some top tips to keep your home secure.
As part of the study, it was discovered that there is a clear correlation between crime levels and posting on social media.
Swinton revealed statistics suggesting that a staggering 88% of Twitter profiles are public, with 11% of users sharing personal vital information*, including when they are away from their property. With so many visible profiles, and thousands of users over-sharing their private details, it’s no wonder the modern-day burglar is choosing to make the most out of social media.
Other figures also showed that 15,508 social media users shared photos of their new home online, with 1.3% even going as far to provide their house number!**. According to the Home Office, figures have highlighted that you are almost twice as likely to be burgled in the first 12 months of being in a new home, so it’s vital that new homeowners are being vigilant online and not posting confidential information that could be used by potential burglars.
Swinton also released an interactive social media crime map, allowing you to select your location in the UK and compare the level of reported crimes to the amount of people posting about being away from the home, whether they’re abroad, or have recently brought a new home or car. This informative tool displays the clear correlation between social media users sharing too much information online, and the higher level of crimes in certain areas of the UK.
To help advise homeowners on the importance of staying safe online, we highlighted five top tips on how to prevent your home being targeted, including updating security settings, not accepting friend requests from people you don’t know personally, and delaying posting about your holiday until you return home. Check out our infographic below for more information.
Stephen Roberts, marketing manager at Yale UK said: “Staying safe on social is a great way to keep opportunist thieves from targeting your property, but it’s also vital to make sure your home security is up to scratch. There are plenty of simple ways to update the security of your home including updating the cylinder on your door to one that meets British Standards TS007, making sure all windows have secure window locks, and also installing a home alarm system. Standard home alarms could even get you 7.5% discount on your home insurance premium!”
To see the interactive map and Yale’s top tips, visit www.swinton.co.uk.
*Study based on over 3000 tweets and over 3,000 Instagram posts made in the UK based on data from January 1st 2016 – August 11th 2017
**Based on data from 1st January 2016 – 11th August 2017