We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

We know where you are this summer think twice about disclosing your holiday plans online

As the school holiday season begins, the ABI is warning the estimated 35 million people in the UK who use social networking sites not to disclose their summer holiday plans online, as criminals are increasingly going online to target unoccupied homes.

It has been estimated1. that over a third of social network users in the UK regularly give details of when they will be away from their home. In one case, after falling out with the family, a man attempted to ransack their home after seeing from their Facebook pages when they would be away on holiday.
And in the US, police uncovered a criminal gang who targeted Facebook users, and broke into 50 homes after checking when the owners were away on holiday.

During the peak holiday season last summer insurers dealt with 752 home burglary claims every day - more than in any other period of the year.

The ABI's top tips to avoid becoming a victim of summer holiday burglars is:

- Avoid giving details on social networking sites of when you will be away on holiday. Keep personal information to a minimum, and do not accept friendship requests from people you do not know.
- Make sure your home is secure when you leave it. Doors, windows and outbuildings, such as sheds and garages, should be locked.
- Make sure that items such as ladders and garden tools, which can be used to force entry, are locked away
- Consider having some lights on timer switches.
- Ask a trusted neighbour, friend, or relative to keep and eye on your home for anything suspicious, and give them your contact details.

Nick Starling, the ABI's Director of General Insurance and Health, said:

"Unoccupied summer homes are already more vulnerable to burglary, without advertising online that you are away. With criminals increasingly going online to access personal details, avoid divulging personal information, such as your holiday plans, online.
"Simple, common sense steps around ensuring your home is secure and not advertising that you are away will greatly reduce the risk of unwelcome visitors while enjoying your summer break."

- ENDS -

Last updated 01/07/2016