Avoid these holiday social media posts to prevent burglary this summer

With summer officially starting, people are heading abroad for their holidays, but how cautious should they be when posting on social media?

On Instagram alone there are 592k #outofoffice open account posts, a further 17.1 million #airport uploads and a mammoth 162 million #holiday hashtags.

Sharing posts relating to passports, which 2.9 million have on Instagram alone, not to mention a further 133k on boarding passes revealing vital information to would-be burglars.

After 78% of burglars admitted to using social media to find their next targets, safe.co.uk has put the most common social media posts under the microscope, to prevent jet-setters putting their homes at risk.

If posting any shots in the airport, consider timing them for the journey home, rather than the departure. The departure date could give a burglar optimum time to plan and execute the theft. With the current delays and queues at airports, it could be tempting to post a picture with a complaint, but it's important to avoid doing so to not advertise your whereabouts.

The security retailer’s study discovered that 89%* of holiday-goers admit to posting about their travels on social media and 55%* confessed they were not even aware of the consequences.

Here’s what to avoid posting this summer:

Out Of Office – Sharing an out of office or automatic replies screen indicates the exact days of annual leave. For those following the Instagram account, they could plan a burglary strategy based around those dates, therefore it’s recommended to avoid advertising holiday details where possible.

Flight Details – Immediately after booking a holiday, social media users often share the dates, location and general holiday details in booking confirmations. Doing this can again alert burglars to plan in advance, giving them plenty of notice to plot their approach.

Stories – Sharing stories whilst on holiday shows activity within the last 24 hours, therefore highlighting burglars that you are away from the property at a very recent time. Share any holiday highlights on an Instagram post as a throwback to avoid giving the game away that you are away, and your property is empty.

Airport Shots – If posting any shots in the airport, consider timing them for the journey home, rather than the departure. Again, the departure date could give a burglar optimum time to plan and execute the theft. With the current delays and queues at airports, it could be tempting to post a picture with a complaint, but it's important to avoid doing so to not advertise your whereabouts.

Holiday Countdown – The countdown feature on a phone should be kept for personal use only, posting this can alert the exact dates of the holiday, as well as the duration.

Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk said: “There’s no denying the excitement of booking a holiday, especially as some people are going on their first holiday since the pandemic started.

"However, we’re urging people to be social media-savvy when posting. Set profiles to private and consider the points above as you never know who is viewing the account.

“We’d also recommend asking neighbours to keep an eye on your property whilst you’re away. Ask them to put the bin away after it’s been emptied and invest in security systems for peace of mind throughout.”