As the summer holidays begin, millions of homes will sit empty whilst some homeowners, and tenants share their experiences via social media – never a good idea, even if you have restricted privacy settings to friends and family. After all, many of us have over 200 friends on Facebook.
New research by Swinton has uncovered that Manchester residents are the most likely to fall victim to a break in. This is closely followed by the cities of Middlesborough and Leeds. Surprisingly, London doesn’t chart in the top ten riskiest cities. London’s larger population size means that although almost 80,000 burglaries took place, the percentage of the residents that were broken into in the last 12 months is under one per cent (0.89 per cent), compared to 1.5 per cent in Manchester.
The in-depth analysis found 72,558 ‘risky’ social media posts and a direct correlation between oversharing on social media. Users are still sharing details regarding being out of the home, on holiday, purchasing a new car or a new home: http://www.swinton.co.uk/spotlight/your-home/social-media-crime-map/.
Crime data also shows that 49% of burglary offenders are known to the victim. This indicates that thieves could be monitoring social media accounts to seek out opportunities for burglaries and the survey findings certainly support this view, with 33% riskier social media posts this year across the UK.
Further highlights include;
- 6,248 social media posts gave away when the person was going to be out of the home
- 20,075 new home social media posts were identified across the UK
- 42,858 social media posts referenced an upcoming holiday
- 3,377 people posted images of their new car on the driveway with #newcar
- Users from the South East are riskiest with their social media posting at 98.4% above the national average
- North East users posted 108% more risky posts this year than last – the biggest increase in risky behaviour for any UK region
- Users in Greater London posted 61.9% fewer images of their new homes this year compared to last – the biggest movement towards safer online behaviour out of all regions for New Home posting
In light of these findings, Swinton has launched a ‘ Safer Summer’ campaign with Beat the Burglar’s Dominic Littlewood and Yale UK to help Britons protect their homes.
Other useful tips include keeping modern car keys inside a metal box of some sort, as this acts as a Faraday cage, defeating many scanners and keycode readers. Burglars generally want stuff that can be traded in quickly at many High Street pre-owned electricals shops, or sold on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Etsy etc. Smartphones, tablets, cameras, Swiss/designer name watches, jewellery, fashion trainers etc are the kinds of things they can carry away easily, and then get rid of very quickly too.
If you own an expensive bicycle then mark it with Smartwater, and lock it to something very solid when you’re on holiday. For watches and jewellery buy a heavy safe, that bolts to the floor. Cash box type safes are simply too easy to break into. Don’t leave the spare safe key – or any other duplicate keys – hanging up in the kitchen.
Homeowners and tenants on a tight budget can now buy decent CCTV cameras, featuring audio listening & speaking, motion sensors, Cloud based data back-up, all of which links directly to a smartphone app, for as little as £90 per pair. You may need a subscription for data back up however.