Holiday-makers have been warned to wait until after their trip to share their snaps
THOUSANDS of Brits are telling thieves their homes are empty and prime targets after boasting about their holidays on social media.
Nearly 700,000 people share information about their holiday plans online a month, with experts warning that tech-savvy burglars are using people’s desire to “keep up with the Joneses” to know what to target, and when.
Security expert Michael Fraser told the Sun Online he was shocked to see how many people tagged themselves at the airport, telling thieves how long they would be gone for.
He said: “The burglar no longer has to walk through the streets to find out when a house is empty, he can do it online now.
“The normal Joe Public is not really expecting something like this to happen – they don’t realise when they put something online, people can check it and find out plenty of information.
“They think they’re showing off – look, I’m on holiday, look at my new TV.”
It comes as England legend John Terry’s mansion was burgled after he and his family were on a skiing holiday.
A court heard the star had posted a photograph of himself, with the gang realising his home was empty and ready for the taking.
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Mr Fraser said that even if someone had shared their address years ago, thieves could still “connect the dots”.
According to an analysis of social media posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, done by Together Mutual Insurance, it seems Spanish sun seekers are the most likely to reveal their final holiday destination, followed by those heading to the US.
In the analysis of public posts over 30 days between June and July this year, it was found group shots at the airport were the most commonly shared.
Mr Fraser warned that even by tagging fellow holiday-makers in a post, people were putting their friends at risk.
He warned: “If your privacy settings aren’t good, burglars will go in and find it.
“They are very clever today.”
He further predicted thieves using social media to know what to target and when would become increasingly common.
CHECKING OUT? The proportion of passengers who check in on Facebook by airport
- Glasgow Preswick (9%)
- Newcastle (8%)
- East Midlands (6%)
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport (6%)
- Birmingham International (6%)
- Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield (6%)
- Belfast International (5%)
Jon Craven, CEO of Together Mutual Insurance said: “We know from our social media research that there is a significant level of risk posed online when people travel abroad that could be affecting the security of households across the UK.
“While people may be quick to post their holiday excitement in an instant, don’t forget its not just the usual holiday spam that could leave you vulnerable. For example, making online customer service enquires or complaints can be a risk you may not realise.
“First and foremost you should make yourself familiar with your social media security settings, and those of your friends who may be likely to tag you.
“Why not wait until you get back before you share your snaps, that way you can pick the best bits and reduce your risk?”
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