Are YOUR festive snaps putting you at risk of burglary? Security expert reveals why you should only post close ups of decorations, delay sharing photos of family reunions and never moan about your online order woes
- Sharing images and videos of your Christmas decorations across social media platforms of gifts and decor could lead to burglary, a security expert has warned
- Anthony Neary said burglars are ‘conscious and active’ throughout December
- Here, he explains how to protect your home from thieves this festive season – from not checking into locations to not sharing family reunion snaps
The halls are decked, you’re catching up with loved ones again after separation during lockdown, and it promises to be a proper Christmas again, so you may be very tempted to show off snaps of your festivities on social media?
But with nine million #ChristmasDecor hashtags on Instagram and 586.2 million TikTok views, security retailers at Safe.co.uk have warned that sharing too much online over Christmas could put you at risk of burglary.
Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk told FEMAIL: ‘Christmas is undoubtedly an exciting time. However, it takes a lot of energy and money, and burglars are very conscious and active throughout December to spoil the fun.
‘As we’re edging closer to the festive season, we wanted to advise families on how to post safely on social media, whilst not giving away any clues or signs to thieves.
‘Innocent posting risks aren’t being considered. Millions are sharing vital information about their properties and its contents on the likes of Instagram and TikTok, and we think it’s important to be one step ahead of thieves at all times, so to not have to deal with the pain a burglary can cause.’
Here, he explains how to protect your home from thieves this festive season – from not checking into locations and keeping those family reunion snaps private.
Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk told FEMAIL explained why it can be dangerous to post pictures of presents under the tree (stock image)
Make sure the picture of the tree is a close up
‘Showcasing home transformations and winter wonderlands is a common social media post. However, as well as displaying any decorations, the layout of the property is also on show on TikTok videos and Instagram Reels,’ Anthony explained.
‘This will give burglars the chance to scope the house and plan their route for swift access to the items they want to take.
‘When sharing any photos, try to focus in on certain items such as the table décor or Christmas tree. That way the Christmas cheer is shared without mapping out the layout of each room.’
Anthony explained how wide images showing the whole home (pictures, stock image) can show thieves the layout of your home
Stop sharing snaps of outdoor decorations that show the home
‘Door decorations are becoming more and more extravagant by the year, as well as wreaths, bows, lights and accessories are used to create the perfect Christmas home entrance,’ Anthony explained.
‘However, close-ups of the door can show the locks and door material, allowing burglars to plan any tools, as well as their approach to breaking in.
‘Try posting close-ups of any outdoor decorations such as reindeer statues or lights, rather than revealing the barrier that stands in the way of thieves, and the outdoor layout of the house.
Don’t post pictures of presents under the tree
Beautifully wrapped gifts can be very very aesthetically pleasing and tempting to share snaps of – but this can also show thieves where expensive gifts are lurking and ready to grab, Anthony warned.
‘Whether the image or video showcases the gifts nestled under the tree, or being purchased and wrapped, you’re instantly showing a burglar that those items are going to be lying around and available in the property for the whole lead up to Christmas day,’ he explained.
‘Keep gifts under wraps, and when posting a photo of the tree, to ensure that any presents are not in view’.
Close-ups of the door can show the locks and door material, allowing burglars to plan any tools, as well as their approach to breaking in, Anthony explained
Avoid checking into other people’s house on social media
With last year’s Christmas restricting visitations for many, family reunions will be on the cards all over the country, but it’s best to avoid advertising your not at home, Anthony explained.
‘Posting with relatives or friends will advertise the fact that you are not at home.
‘To be cautious, avoid checking in to locations on social media. Post any images when you are back at home, and when you’re away, ensure you have security lights, and timed lights on inside, to give the illusion that people are in,’ he added.
No more shopping selfies
‘In the run up to Christmas, prepping for Christmas can often be a stressful yet exciting time,’ Anthony went on.
‘Avoid sharing stories of any queues to shops, or any online orders because it could indicate the items that you will have in your house, waiting to be opened in eight weeks-time, which is a big window for thieves to make their move.
‘Sharing any content days and weeks after it happened is better than doing it live. Try posting days after Christmas, so burglars know it isn’t currently happening and now won’t be the ideal time to try to steal.’
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