Social media postings increase UK shoppers' risk of burglary, study finds
UK shoppers are putting themselves at increased risk of burglary due to their growing love of social media according to new research by The Co-operative Electrical.
The report by the electricals retailer shows that 13% of people post details of things they have bought or been given as gifts on websites such as Facebook, giving potential thieves details of what can be stolen alongside clues as to where it can be stolen from.
People are also being warned that they could be putting themselves at risk of burglary by posting details of when and where they are out enjoying themselves.
James Holland, managing director of The Co-operative Electrical, said: "Alarmingly, our research shows that 15% of people allow their profiles to be viewed by anyone, rising to 21% amongst men, whilst 5% admit they don’t know the majority of their 'friends' online.
"With as many as one in five internet users having virtually no privacy settings in place, savvy thieves can use basic details to discover where you live within a few clicks."
The Co-operative's research shows that three in five people now use social networking websites, with more than two thirds of people updating their status to share their whereabouts.
In addition, 14% 'check in' via Facebook or Foursquare, which gives people's location in real time, and there are concerns that this increasing trend will lead to a rise in burglaries as thieves use social media to identify whether a house is occupied.
Further to the research, The Co-operative has provided a range of social media advice to help people protect their homes while they are out of the house. This includes checking privacy settings and being wary of what they post.
The research also revealed that UK shoppers spent and average of £1,000 each on technology in 2012: almost half of Brits (48%) bought smartphones, 22% mobile phones, 28% a tablet and 18% an e-reader in 2012.
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