Over half of British people have never changed their privacy settings

Burglars use many tools in order to scope and out and break in to homes, but are you aware of how they can use social media to their advantage? When many of us think of crime online, we might think of identity theft through phishing schemes and spam emails but our Facebook and Twitter profiles can be just as dangerous.

Celebrity Jodie Marsh recently had her house broken in to only hours after posting holiday snaps on her social media accounts, the burglars believing she was still on holiday.

A recent study by security product provider The Safe Shop, found that over 58% of people in the UK don’t apply privacy settings to all of their social media posts, meaning they leave themselves vulnerable to giving away private information, with males putting themselves at more risk than females. Half tag themselves in locations when out of the house, with 18-35 year olds unsurprisingly being most prone.

With people seemingly unaware of the consequences their social media settings might have, we’ve provided a few tips on shoring up your social media to make sure you don’t put yourself at risk….

  1. Privacy settings: There are various settings on social media that determine how public our information and posts are. Check your privacy settings to make sure only people you know are able to see what you’re up to.
  2. Photos: Holiday photos are a great way of sharing your experiences with friends and family but try and resists and post all your photos when you get back home. This way there’s no chance of anyone you don’t know peeking.
  3. Tagging: Location tagging has become immensely more popular in recent years. Many of us tag our locations at hotels, restaurants, airports and on holiday. This can highlight your location to others so try to avoid it.
  4. Location: Don’t post your address or even town on your social profiles. Even if you keep your profile quite private, your name and location can be cross checked with the electoral roll to find your address and other occupants in your home.
  5. Applications: Social media application add-ons that ask for our personal information can be dangerous. Although there is no evidence they have led to burglaries there have been cases of identity theft as a result.

If you would like more information on keeping safe online, view the ‘Guide to Keeping Safe on Social Media’ produced by the Safe Shop to accompany the statistics.