How vulnerable are you on social media?
We’ve separated posts into “vulnerability categories”, such as ‘Going on holiday’, and split the data out by region – find out what people in your city are sharing with our interactive map, which shows the clear correlation between social posting and crime in the UK.
Make your profile private if possible, which will give you the greatest protection against being targeted
What to do if you’re jetting off on holiday
Worryingly, our research* has shown that over 76,000 Twitter users publicly posted about their upcoming holidays, with some even specifying exactly when they’d be leaving. And out of all the regions in the UK, people in the North West were 82% more likely to post about their holidays, with Mancunians in particular tending to brag the most! This could be anything from ‘checking in’ at the airport before a flight, to a shot of an elaborate tropical cocktail – whatever you choose to share, you’re basically advertising the fact that your home is unoccupied to budding burglars.
So, as tempting as it may be to post holiday updates in real-time, don’t – instead, enjoy your time away and upload photos retrospectively, once you’re back home.
What to do if you’re away from the home
In the same timeframe, over 5,000 people posted publicly on Twitter or Instagram about being away from the home for a night out or event. The same advice applies: change your behaviour and wait until you return home to comment on how great your meal or concert was. Always remember that burglars prefer to strike when they're certain no-one is home, and once they've identified that a house is empty, they can easily make off with your belongings in the few hours that you're away.
Once again, the North West was identified as a riskier region, with people 70% more likely than the rest of the UK to share too much information about their social lives.
As tempting as it may be to post holiday updates in real-time, don’t – instead, enjoy your time away
What to do if you’ve got a new house
Our research has also shown that over 8,000 Instagram users shared a public photo of their new home, using the hashtag #newhouse or #newhome. As images like these often show house numbers, and big-ticket items such TVs and computers, you can see how easy it is for an opportunistic burglar to take advantage.
Our advice? Avoid any photos that may show identifying features of your house, which people in the South East should pay particular attention to – they were found to be 96% more likely than the rest of the UK to post about their new homes.
What to do if you’ve got a new car
Again, those in the South East are more likely to talk about their new cars on their social pages – 103% more than the rest of the UK, to be exact, with over 2,700 Instagram users in the region showing off about their spanking set of wheels.
While we’d advise not posting any pics of your new car at all, if you simply can’t resist then at least remember to obscure the number plate!
How can you avoid fraud?
As mentioned, it's not just burglars you have to be mindful of when sharing information on social media, but also fraudsters – it's not difficult for criminals to connect the dots if you volunteer personal details such as your full name, age, address and house number in your public profile.
We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the privacy settings on the social network you belong to, and make sure you're comfortable with them. Make your profile private if possible, which will give you the greatest protection against being targeted.
*Research carried out between January 2016 and August 2017