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14-06-2011

Beware social media holiday postings

More and more of us are using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to tell friends and family what we’re up to. And the growing availability of wifi connections in hotels and resorts means we’re all updating our accounts more frequently while away. But remember that this can also expose you to people who have a more sinister interest in your online posts.

A study by Co-operative Travel and Co-operative Insurance reveals that thieves are able to track down addresses from website posts within 60 seconds. Simple cross checking using online address databases can easily reveal the exact location of the home in question.

According to a spokesperson from Co-operative Travel, it’s no longer enough to simply double lock the front door and stop milk and newspapers: “This is particularly true for families with teenage children, who perhaps aren’t as aware of the need to avoid telling strangers that your house will be unoccupied.”

The AA has also entered the debate, warning that online posts may have an impact in the future on the cost of home insurance. They believe that, when applying for or renewing their insurance policy, homeowners could be asked whether they are active on social networking sites as well as facing the normal questions about security locks and intruder alarms.

So the advice is: don’t mention your holiday openly online.

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