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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 5th December 2018

Be Home-Safe Savvy

Can’t wait to tell the world you’re off on holiday? Think again! A staggering 78% of burglars use social media to target properties.

Are you excited to be going away on holiday? Whilst it may be tempting to boast to the world your next holiday escape, it’s worth a re-think. A staggering 78% of burglars use social media to target properties, according to ADT (www.adt.co.uk), the UK’s leading integrated alarm and security systems for homes and businesses, with an office in Kings Hill, West Malling.

Don’t post airport selfies

Be cautious about posting your travel plans on social media, and instead save the sharing of updates until you return from your holiday. Telling the world your upcoming travel plans gives burglars a heads up when your house is due to be vacant. Then, with a Google search, it can be relatively easy to pinpoint your house.

If you do decide to post holiday snaps, it’s best to check your privacy settings and ensure your GPS location data is disabled. Make sure your kids’ social media is monitored appropriately and that the safety and privacy settings are reviewed regularly too. Social media channels are updated often and therefore it’s important to check they are the same as when you last altered them.

Be wary of your openness

The ease of posting on social media and conversing with friends can be taken for granted, however you should always be wary of posting detailed information about your whereabouts, schedule or even of yourself. When you share that tweet or post that selfie, depending on your existing privacy settings, could mean you are broadcasting to the world – and therefore a potential criminal!

Tell trusted neighbours & friends

Even if you don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, neighbours and close friends can still monitor your house and its perimeter for anything suspicious. They can make sure the garden is tended to and collect the post, to make it less obvious you are away on holiday, and even perhaps park their car on your driveway at random times.

Cancel services

Cancel any regular grocery, newspaper, milk and other deliveries while away – alternatively Royal Mail offer a service whereby you can stop mail deliveries and have them resume on your return from holiday.

Wireless home security & video monitoring system

Believe it or not, some of the most sophisticated wireless home security systems can cost less than the hotel room you’ve booked. A home security and monitoring system will provide an enhanced level of security and peace of mind while you’re away. An easy to set up wireless option is Blink, which sends temperature and motion alerts along with recorded or live video clips to a smartphone, anytime and from anywhere. These cameras can be positioned inside and outside of your property, and you can be instantly alerted to a break-in through the Blink app on your iOS or Android device.

• For more information, visit www.blinkforhome.co.uk/ 

Security lighting

Thanks to automatic switches, you can make it appear as if you are home when you’re not. Set up some internal and outdoor lights on automatic timers and be sure to pay special attention to entry points. These lights are generally inexpensive and easy to install but double-check that they are working properly before you go.

Check insurance & banking services

Ensure that your policies are paid up for homeowners, car, and medical insurance. If necessary, advise your bank and credit card companies that you will be away so that they can alert you to any unusual account activity.

Contact your alarm company

If you have the more formal home surveillance service instead of a DIY system, be sure that they have the current key holder details in order to prevent any false alarms interrupting your getaway. Has the alarm been serviced? – and also update the local authorities if you’ve registered your alarm with them.

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