Although a huge number of people know that if they want to avoid having their gadgets stolen while they’re on holiday they should not post social media updates about their vacation plans, Brits cannot resist the temptation to tell their friends about their trips abroad.

Research from the Co-Operative Insurance found that 75.5% of UK adults are worried about their home’s security when they’re on holiday, with 45% worried that internet updates could inform criminals that their house is vacant.

Despite this, 51% said they ‘always or occasionally’ keep their friends up-to-date about their holiday with social media, and their updates could be seen by anyone – 10% of people said they don’t know how to alter their privacy settings, while 49% do not regularly check if their privacy settings are how they should be. A further 33% admitted they don’t know everyone on their Facebook friends list – if just one of these unknown contacts is a burglar or associates with thieves, people could inadvertently be telling a criminal the best time to strike.

Furthermore, almost one quarter (74%) said they didn’t know that they can deactivate location settings on Facebook or other social media accounts; these location settings can make it very obvious when someone is not at home, regardless of the content of their posts.

To keep your home secure:

  • Check that your posts are only being shared with friends. Some people have noticed their privacy settings revert to ‘public’ after updates, so check regularly!
  • Do not accept anyone as a friend if you do not know them – fake accounts are rife, and not always benign.
  • Change your profile privacy settings to ensure that strangers cannot see information such as your address or birthday.
  • Consider turning off location-tagging or photo-map on social media pages – you can always add locations when you arrive back in the UK.
  • Google yourself to see what information pops up – if you are unhappy with any information being publicly-available, change your privacy settings and contact the owner of the offending webpage.

It’s never been easier to take your smartphone out on holiday and communicate with your friends, but be careful what you say and who you say it to. If your smartphone is lost or stolen when you’re on holiday, you’ll be thankful you took out gadget insurance with us – we offer international smartphone insurance!