With the arrival of Spring, it's the perfect times for staycations and city breaks. Are you excited to go 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.
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 break 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. Social media channels are updated often and therefore it’s important to check they are the same as when you last altered them.
Be mindful of your openness
The ease of posting on social media and conversing with friends can be taken for granted. You should always be mindful 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 and friends
Even if you don’t have a neighbourhood watch scheme, neighbours and close friends can still monitor the house and perimeter for anything suspicious. They can make sure the garden is tended to and remove the post, to make it less obvious you are away on holiday. Now, when you purchase any Blink home security camera, you'll be provided with a sticker to showcase your property is protected, helping to deter criminals!
Cancel any regular grocery, newspaper, milk and other deliveries while on holiday – alternatively Royal Mail offer a service whereby you can stop mail deliveries and have them resume on your return from holiday.
Wireless home security and 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. You can be instantly alerted to a break in through the Blink app on your iOS or Android device.
Thanks to automatic switches, you can make it appear as if you're home when you're not. Set up some internal and outdoor lights on automatic switches 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 and 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 (and expensive) 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 holiday. Has the alarm been serviced? Update the local authorities if you've registered your alarm with them.
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