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Social Media Putting Aussie Home Safety At Risk, According to Research From GIO
Dec 15, 2011 (06:12 PM EST)


The increasing popularity of social media such as Facebook and Twitter is putting the homes and valuables of Australians at increasing risk of robberies and theft.

SYDNEY NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia, Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The increasing popularity of social media such as Facebook and Twitter is putting the homes and valuables of Australians at increasing risk of robberies and theft, leading home insurance provider GIO is warning.

Worryingly, over one third (37%) of social media users post either their location or photos of their location or holidays, potentially alerting thieves to their house being empty, according to research conducted by GIO (*).

The research found that 16% of people will update social media platforms on their daily movements, while one-in-ten will pinpoint their location on social media using a location tracker such as "Checking In" on Facebook.

"Updating the world about when you're not at home is a very real and serious threat to your home and your belongings. You wouldn't put a sign on your front door advertising the fact that you're not at home, yet that is essentially what people are doing via social media," said GIO spokesperson Duncan Bone.

"We at GIO are not discouraging people from using social media, but we do want people to think about whether their check-in or tweet is totally necessary. Social media may be free, but the consequences may very well turn out to be very expensive," he added.

"If you do plan on updating social media networks with your location, check and, if necessary, amend your privacy settings so only people you implicitly trust can see them. To keep your home secure, make sure you have good locks on your doors and windows, and, if possible, an alarm system. If you're away for an extended period of time, think about using light-timers and asking a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property." Bone concluded.

(*) Newspoll Market & Social Research conducted an independent internet survey of 2,189 Australians, 18 years of age and older, across all states and territories in 2011 who use social media. Collected data has been weighted in line with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age sex and area.

SOURCE GIO