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Keep your home safe on social media these holidays

cyber securityIt appears safe enough: posting a holiday snap on Facebook, uploading an airport check-in on Foursquare, or announcing dinner plans on Twitter. But these private moments broadcasted on social media may be cues for burglars.

In recent years social media platforms have become a tool for thieves with location sharing features often used by unsuspecting holiday makers when uploading happy snaps. These features tell people who’s on holiday and indicate an empty home.

Typically burglars will attempt a house burglary quickly, often avoiding homes with extra security, alarm systems, cameras and sensor lights. Those thieves assured homeowners are on holidays may take extra time and leave with more valuable goods.

This holiday season try turning off location sharing on social media and don’t announce interstate travel plans with the world. Better yet, make sure your home address hasn’t been shared and if it needs to be, do so by private message. Checking privacy settings for individual social media platforms is recommended and reverse stalking yourself will reveal just how secure are your personal details.

Back at the house, security measures can be taken to help dissuade thieves over the holidays. A big deterrent is a visible security system and the threat of a professional response. The simple sight of a car in your driveway can also give the impression that someone is at home. Why not consider having a neighbour park their car in your driveway as they come and go over the holiday period or you may choose to leave your car in plain sight, but just remember to take the keys with you.
RACV general manager home services Peter Brindley says, “thieves have been known to check for car keys in obvious spots and steal cars, right from your own driveway,” he says.
“Having your home burgled is already emotionally traumatic, and having the car taken too makes it even worse.”

Set light timers inside the house and leave the radio on because nothing says an empty home than a dark quiet house. Outdoor lighting and gravel driveways provide visual and audio signals to neighbours that something might not be right so investing in motion-sensing porch and garden lighting is advisable. Ask the neighbours or friends to collect the mail and any newspapers or get them diverted.

This silly season be safe online and on holidays, and feel secure that your home is too.

Read our story on keeping the outside of your home secure, and find out more about home burglaries with the nine-part Safe as Houses series.

Source: Royal Auto

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