We’ve all been there — you get the keys to your first home, and you can’t wait to share the exciting news with your social media followers.
Then, when we finally get on that first plane post-lockdown, we’re guaranteed to tag ourselves out of office, further letting our followers know how long our new home is going to be empty.
With the UK slowly easing out of lockdown, people returning to the office, and holidays in the not-so-distant future, let’s dive into common mistakes people make on social media and how it can affect home safety.
1. Uploading photos of house keys.
There are currently over 15,600 posts of people’s #housekeys on Instagram. As tempting as it can be to share your new homeowner status, did you know that burglars can use these photos to create a carbon copy of your keys? Steer away from posting any direct images of your house keys. Instead, opt for a photo on your new couch or in an empty room — anything that won’t give away personal information.
2. Posing in front of a house.
Another common post we see on social media is people posing outside of their house — sometimes even tagging their geolocation. Uploads like these make both your home and your family vulnerable, especially when followed up with a post of your shiny new TV.
Similarly, these uploads give potential burglars a chance to assess entry points into your property, whether you have any alarms, and what tools they would need to break in.
If you must post a photo in front of your home, blur out any details that can make your address identifiable, and avoid geotags at all times.
3. Sharing when going away on holiday.
After a whole year of travel restrictions, many of us can’t wait to jump on a plane and finally go on holiday. But before you post a picture of an airplane wing or hotel room, consider saving all photos until you get home, especially if your social media account is open to the public. An advertised holiday is prime time for your home to be broken into.
4. Using full names on social media.
Typing in your full name when setting up a new social media account may seem like an obvious thing to do. But, by making yourself easily identifiable online, you could be opening yourself up to several risks, including identity theft and stalking.
With your full name, a criminal can find information about you, including your address, in just a matter of minutes. Instead, switch out your surname for your middle name or a different one altogether.
The same applies to sharing personal information such as your date of birth and where you went to school. Hackers can use these details to answer security questions protecting your online accounts.
5. Posting expensive purchases
Whether you’ve finally got your hands on a PS5, a new car, or been spoiled on your birthday, sharing your expensive purchases online can make yourself a target — especially if you’re easily identifiable online.
Protect Yourself and Your Home
It’s not long now until the UK starts heading back to normality. It’s essential to start implementing these measures and protect yourself online. Keep your home unidentifiable, your personal details private, and save those holiday snaps until you get back. For extra peace of mind, consider investing in a home security system to help keep you, your family, and your belongings safe while on holiday, at work, or just out running errands.