Facebook Safety & Online Security: Don’t Put Your Home at Risk

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Social networking sites are hugely popular and undoubtedly a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. However, it seems that many people are rather lax with their online security when using them.

Although it’s tempting to share your holiday plans on Facebook or Twitter, be aware that you might be putting your home at risk. For example, a status update proclaiming ‘I’m off on holiday’ can also be interpreted as ‘hey everyone, I’m leaving my home unoccupied’.

Insurance comparison site, Confused.com, has recently issued a fresh warning to social media users regarding online security. They predict that Facebook and Twitter users could face increased home insurance premiums in the future if they don’t exercise a sensible level of caution. They may also have claims rejected if they’ve shown negligence while using a social network site.

In America, it’s been reported that a burglary ring in Nashua targeted people who updated their location on Facebook which alerted the criminals that they were not at home. They apparently broke into 50 homes.

Information given on Facebook’s online security page states that individuals need to take responsibility for the details they share. It says,

There is a false rumour that Facebook shares your location without your knowledge or consent. You control your information on Facebook. With Facebook Places, you choose when to share your location by checking in or allowing friends to check you in. Your location is never given to anyone automatically.

Unfortunately, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to using the web to gather information. Scarily, some break-ins can now be planned with absolute precision using tools like google earth and street view. However, by taking a few simple steps and remaining vigilant – you can help stay safe.

• Only accept friend invitations from people you know and trust.

• Ensure you have efficient privacy settings in place. Make sure you understand your facebook privacy settings.

• Never post your address, postcode, bank details or any other private information on social networking sites.

• Educate younger users on safe web use. For a younger internet audience, ThinkUKnow is a good resource for online safety tips.

Policy Expert 

If your home is your haven, you’ll want it to have the best protection. Compare quotes from our range of handpicked insurers and tailor a policy to suit you. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.