As society is becoming ever more prevalent to sharing their thoughts, lives and what they are eating for lunch on social media, you could be compromising your safety as a result of giving too much information away. It may not seem it, but by promoting where you are every minute of the day, and with your personal information available for everyone to see, you may as well add a “I am not in the house” sign to your front door.
However, if you apply some caution when using social media, you can easily protect yourself from any potential burglaries.
1. Amend your privacy settings
Most social media settings are naturally automated to be open, so even if someone has not connected with you as a friend or follower, they can still visit your profile and see your latest updates. Go to your privacy settings, and lock your profile for only friends and family to see.
Furthermore, only connect with people you know, just friends and family, otherwise you are at risk of opening your life out to potential criminals.
2. Don’t tell social media about your holidays!
A significant number of criminals use social media as a form of surveillance to find patterns of when a person’s home is unoccupied. If you are promoting your holiday on social media, and then posting numerous pictures by the beach, you are are likely to attract unwanted attention. National statistics have shown the chance of being robbed whilst on holiday has increased by 40% .
Further to this a lot of insurance companies will not pay out, in the event of a burglary, if they have seen you have been posting too many details about your trip on social media.
A good way to increase surveillance whilst away is to install a smart security system which doesn’t rely on WiFi or power supply and contacts security officers itself when someone breaks in.
Verisure home alarms
3. Exert caution when clicking on links
As both Facebook and Twitter are hubs for link sharing to different articles, videos and posts, it can be difficult to differentiate between something that is harmless and something that contains malicious software. Hackers are waiting in the shadows on social media, disguising themselves as links to something newsworthy, or a great offer if you just click through.
Once they have access to your personal information and private messages, they know where you live and your short-term plans. If you do not recognize the url, or it does not come from a reputable source, avoid clicking the link at all.
4. Change your location settings
Most smartphones have a GPS setting that can embed a location into each image that is taken, which is the ideal tracker for a burglar. The geotags set within the photos allow criminals to track your movements, to not only find out where your home is exactly but find out when you are away.
To change this, go to your location settings for each app on your phone and turn them off so photos are not automatically tagged.
5. Do not enable auto-login
If your social media passwords are set to auto-login, in the event that a hacker finds a way into your system, they have full access of all your accounts, your private messages, pictures and personal information. Check your computer’s browser to make sure it is not automatically logging you in and turn off auto-login on your mobile settings.
Social media has made it so easy for burglars to find out where you live, when you aren’t home and how to navigate around your property, they don’t even have to lift a finger! However, do not let this scare you from actively using your social account. Just think before you post and apply a few of these tips so you can continue using social media without any worries.