How To Be Cautious Using Social Media While Travelling & On Holiday

Problems With Posting On Social Media While You’re Away

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Did you know that a UK couple has been unable to claim on their home insurance following a break in? Why, I hear you ask? Because they posted a few holiday snaps on social media while they were away!

This seems like complete and utter madness, but according to the company in question, the couple did not take ‘reasonable care’ to ensure that their property was safe and secure during their break by adding their holiday snaps to Facebook before they returned home. 

Normally, when we think of ‘reasonable care’ when it comes to keeping our homes secure while we’re on holiday, we might close some of our blinds and double check that all windows and doors are firmly locked. Not for a moment would we ever think that a cheeky selfie in the airport bar could land us in big trouble should our homes be broken into while we’re away. 

However, our home insurance companies don’t quite see things in the same light with many industry experts citing images of us lounging around by the pool on social media akin to hanging a giant sign outside our homes inviting burglars to try their luck. 

According to The Telegraph, majority of burglars use social media to select victims and potential houses to target. Information may not just be in the form of holiday snaps of you but they have known to be looking for key information such as airport check-ins and photos of boarding passes.

Therefore, the Financial Ombudsman Service is warning social media users of the potential risks associated with sharing our details online to make sure that no-one else falls foul of this potential home insurance pitfall. 

Here're a few tips on how to keep your home insurance company happy by sharing your holiday experiences on social media without adding undue risk to your home and your family, making them less vulnerable.

Travel Planning? Good. Broadcasting it? Not So!

Similar to not telling you taxi ride to the airport how long you will be away, in fear of a visit while you are away, keep your travel plans and details to yourself.

Heads-up on your travel plans with details can only give potential thieves food for thought. Not only are you revealing where you'll be, you're also revealing when and how long for and criminals could be there waiting for you.

No Status Updates, Please!

Current updates of you being in far away places allows ample time for the unscrupulous to plan and execute a robbery of your house, as you won't be back anytime soon. This may be the case, but don’t forget it advertises where you are to the local unscrupulous too, giving them the opportunity to hatch their plans! 

Save the Selfies

Just to be on the safe side, don’t post any holiday snaps to social media until you’ve returned home. There’s some unsavoury characters lurking on social media channels, and you never know who might be stalking your profile, so make sure that your privacy settings are all set to the highest level. And, never assume that your status post is going out to only your friends, even if your Facebook privacy settings only allow friends to view your posts.

A simple snapshot of you about to dig into a gorgeous burger can give away your present location in the GPS-based geotag information that can be embedded in the metadata of the photo. 

If you simply can’t wait to make your friends back home jealous, set up a Whatsapp group to share your snaps instead. 

To Tag Ot Not To Tag? 

It is your decision to volunteer status and your location on social media but try not to tag fellow travellers on photos or status updates, as they may not want this information about themselves broadcasted. It is best to reserve any tagging to when all are safe and sound at home.

 

Tags: Holidays and home insurance, holiday safety, social media