Posting travel and holiday arrangements on social media may be providing criminals with information that makes your home, vehicle and possessions easy pickings according to Sharon Paterson who heads up Infiniti, a leading insurance company.

“In South Africa 43 000 residential robberies and burglary incidents were reported, up 7.3% – a 10 year high. There were 71 131 business robberies and burglary incidents according to Stats SA. Now social media may be adding to your odds of being targeted. According to research done by an insurance company in the United Kingdom, one in 20 of the burglaries (in the UK) happened while the homeowner was on holiday, while another survey found one in 12 Britons had been burgled after posting their location abroad on social media,” Paterson says.

Paterson says sharing the details of your travels, holidays or other circumstances requiring absence from home on Facebook or Instagram and other social media may be a lot of fun but at the same time it is also telegraphing news that your home will be empty to would-be burglars. “In the instance of this happening, Infiniti has taken the approach that these actions would not adversely affect a client’s ability to claim provided all conditions of the policy had been met.”

Infiniti’s General Manager, Broker Division Debbie George points to the approach by the company. “We will continue to embrace smart and interconnected technology to ensure efficiencies within the Infiniti universe of the broker channel which resides at the centre of the role in managing the risk of our clients.

“However it is a good idea in general – but in particular before going away – to tighten up your online security. Remove people you do not know or trust as friends on Facebook. Turn off location services and remove personal details from profile pages. You can also do a search to identify what personal information is being distributed online. Do not announce your holiday plans or send out a stream of information as to where you are.”

‘If having your travel, or even dinner plans, on social media can lead to loss of property, it can also impact on the safety of your family. The moral of the story is be aware that in telling your friends and family where you are when, you might, just might be also telling some-one to whom you would never give that information. Be aware that you are talking in an open forum” she concludes.

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