Gadgets: The Perfect Christmas Gift for Criminals

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GadgetsCan you guess what day of the year you are statistically more likely to have a burglar in your home? The answer is New Year’s Eve.

When you think about it is not really that difficult to see why. Many homes are left empty as parents are off partying and kids are packed off to grandparents and baby-sitters; loud fireworks going off can disguise the sound of breaking glass.

Plus, thanks to the generosity of Father Christmas, modern homes are packed full of expensive gadgets. Us Brits are Europe’s biggest spenders on gadgets, splashing out more than £11 billion per year.

Technology gifts are set to be extremely popular gifts this Christmas with Apple products including the Apple iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S topping the list.

On top of these items you can also add games consoles such as the Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. Throw in some games, expensive new laptops such as the Sony Vaio and any number of Smartphones from the likes of BlackBerry, HTC and Samsung, as well as Mp3 players such as the iPod, and you have a list of gadgets that any burglar would love to get their hands on.

How much do popular gadgets cost?

If we look at the cost of some of the most popular gadget gifts for this Christmas it is easy to see how it all adds up:

£399 – iPad 2
£499 – iPhone 4S Sim Free
£199 – XBox 360
£129 – Nintendo Wii
£159 – Apple iPod Touch
£399 – Sony Vaio Laptop
£89 – Digital Cameras

Even if you had just some of these gadgets in your home this Christmas you could certainly be looking at over £1,000 at least in additional gadgetry lying around your house. It can be expensive, especially if you are not insured. Research from Aviva recently shows that for well over a million people getting a new gadget is the trigger they need to take out contents insurance.

The research revealed that 46 per cent of those surveyed said they would take out insurance if they bought an iPhone or other Smartphone. If you know you have an expensive gadget coming to you in Santa’s stocking, you should look at your insurance now, not in the New Year. Consider reviewing your policy to see what is and isn’t covered.

Tips to keep your home secure over New Year’s Eve

If you are looking to go out on New Year’s Eve, there are a couple of tips you can follow to try and cut your risk of burglary.

Hide your Gadgets: Before going out a good tip is to put your expensive new gadgets away. Hiding them somewhere where burglars are unlikely to have time to find them will help keep them safe.

Turn on the Lights: Leave lights on when you go out and make sure you remember to secure all doors and windows properly. Always check to secure your backdoor if you have one, as well as your garage.

Leave the TV On: You may also want to consider leaving the TV or radio on when you go out on New Year’s Eve – the potential extra sounds could be enough to put-off even the most experienced house burglar.

Don’t Update your Twitter/Facebook: Tempting as it is to notify to the world that you are off to the biggest New Year’s Eve party ever for a ‘big one,’ try and remember that by updating your status you are also telling the world that you are out for the night. Do you really ‘know’ all the people following you on Twitter, or who you are friends with on Facebook? Probably not.

Policy Expert

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