Taking the picture perfect snap in front of an autumnal door or atop a trendy designer sofa might be all the rage for influencers and members of the public alike, but those pouting for selfies may be giving away more than they realise.
Experts claim Instagram users are putting their homes at risk of burglary by sharing photos of their properties on social media and inadvertently highlighting ways to break in.
Conducted by Origin, a British window and door brand, in partnership with Secured by Design, the national police crime prevention initiative, the research reveals the living room is where homeowners most frequently share pictures from on their Instagram profiles.
Those under 30 have been dubbed the worst offenders – with many posing in front of their front doors, giving away the type of lock they have and making it easier for criminals to plan their entry into her home.
Naive homeowners willingly upload snaps of their front doors without giving it a seconf thought, but experts have warned such pictures clearly show the type of lock and handle the door has, making it even easier for potential burglars to plan their entry
Naive homeowners are unwittingly giving burglars large amounts of information that can assist break-ins.
By showing off expensive televisions, sound systems and other valuable electrical goods, people are making themselves more vulnerable to theft.
For example, to the untrained eye, what may seem like an innocent photo taken in ones back garden could show multiple points of entry for anyone planning to break in and swipe your prized possessions.
A spokesperson for Origin told Femail: ‘Revealing the entire back of your home and garden could show several potential entry points, such as windows and sliding doors which are left ajar’.
Experts warn that posing in the garden can reveal several potential entry points, such as windows and sliding doors which are left ajar. Pictured, stock image
Other common social media posts showing the interior of the house provides potential intruders a look at the windows and the layout of the house, which could help assist a break in.
The master bedroom was second in the list of rooms shared online, despite being the room intruders are most likely to target for jewellery, cash and other valuables.
The kitchen and garden then closely follow as the most likely spaces that homeowners are inadvertently posting on their public profiles.
Ben Brocklesby, director at Origin, said: ‘We help thousands of UK homeowners improve the security of their homes every year and conducted this research as we wanted more people to be aware of the dangers of oversharing online.
‘Strong and secure doors and windows is just one step to beating the burglar – residents need to be conscious of what they are sharing online.
Uploading snaps of the front door can lead to criminals determining the lock, making it easier for them to then break in. Pictured, stock image
‘Something as simple as sharing a photo on a public profile can give burglars a shop window view into your home.’
Photographs of keys by the front door, showing exactly where they are kept during the day, was among the posts analysed during the research.
Other posts that were equally as inviting for criminals included photos of expensive cars positioned right outside properties.
One user hadn’t turned off location tracking, which means anyone using the social media channel could not only see the car and its number plate, but also exactly where it was kept overnight.
Doug Skins from Secured by Design said: ‘While it’s great to keep in touch with your friends and family, be careful about what you share online as you never know who else may see your activity.
How to burglar-proof your home
‘As well as being more careful of what you share online, there are things you can do to protect your home from burglars,’ explains Doug Skins from Secured by Design.
‘Burglars are often opportunistic thieves, who seek any opening they can take advantage of, specifically doors and windows left open or unlocked, or that are easy to force.
‘But it really doesn’t take much to deter these thieves, so always ensure that you securely lock your windows and doors.
‘If you need new windows or doors, we recommend fitting ones which have achieved Police Preferred Specification and are accredited by Secured by Design.
These have been tested to ensure they’re robust enough to resist physical attack by opportunistic burglars.’
‘Think seriously about who can read your posts and secure your profile by checking privacy settings. Also, think before you share – do you really need to make that information or photo public?’
Ben Brocklesby concluded: ‘With the rise of interior influencers sharing photos of their properties online every day, it’s unsurprising that homeowners want to contribute to this trend by proudly sharing photos of the inside of their house with followers.
‘Even something as simple as taking a selfie with friends can mean you’re sharing snippets of your home in the background.
‘By making profiles private and being careful not to share photos of access points and valuables, homeowners can make sure their property stays safe and secure.’
Public profiles of 500 UK homeowners were analysed as part of the research, with nearly 50 per cent posting at least one photograph of their home online.
Celebrities and members of the public alike fail to realise little signs they give off in their uploaded photographs – including where they leave their keys. Pictured, stock image