POLICE have warned that some home insurance policies become invalidated if you post that you are away from home on social media.

Police are warning people not to 'check-in’ on social media at the airport, avoid tagging others who are on holiday and wait to post your holiday photos until you get home.

Does it really matter?

Yes. Various police forces have issued warnings, and so has the Financial Ombudsman. 

The Ombudsman says you wouldn’t put a poster up on your front lawn saying you’re going on holiday, so why would you post the same thing online to a bunch of strangers?

Local Berkshire:

Advice from insurance site moneysupermarket.com says home insurers expect you to take ‘reasonable care’ when it comes to security.

Examples of not doing this would be leaving a window open or a door unlocked at night.

Another could be advertising your absence. In every case, you could find your insurer quibbling any claim you made, either reducing the pay-out or even not paying out at all.

Local Berkshire:

What else shouldn't I do?

If your contents insurance limits the number of consecutive days your home can be unoccupied without invalidating your cover, then you reveal in Facebook post that you’re on a two-month long cruise, any claim could be invalidated simply by clicking on the ‘post this status’ button.

Moneysupermarket issued the following tips for keeping your details safe when you’re away:

  • Update your security settings: Sites such as Twitter and Facebook often change their privacy settings, so regularly check to make sure your security settings and friend lists are up-to-date.
  • ‘Cull’ your friend list: Not spoken to that old school friend in over 10 years? Or have a collection of friends you’ve only met once? It’s worth considering how your personal details are exposed to your ‘friends’ who you’d most likely not chat to if seen IRL (in real life). Limit your friend count… who knows, it could be cathartic! 
  • Location, location, location: Avoid having locational data attached to your social media posts. Tagging yourself in at home reveals where your home is located, which can be an open invitation for tech-savvy burglars.

Local Berkshire: