The halls are decked out, you’re chasing your loved ones back after a breakup during lockdown, and Christmas is due again, so you might be highly tempted to browse snapshots of your celebrations on social media?
But with nine million #ChristmasDecor hashtags on Instagram and 586.2 million views of TikTok, security retailers at Safe.co.uk have warned that sharing too much online over Christmas could put you at risk of burglary.
Anthony Neri, Managing Director of safe.co.uk told FEMAIL: “Christmas is without a doubt an exciting time. However, it takes a lot of energy and money, and thieves are very conscientious and active throughout the month of December to spoil the fun.
As we head into the holiday season, we wanted to advise families on how to post safely on social media, while not giving any clues or references to thieves.
The risks of innocent publication are not considered. Millions share vital information about their property and its contents on the likes of Instagram and TikTok, and we believe it’s important to be one step ahead of thieves at all times, so you don’t have to deal with the pain that a burglary can cause.
Here, he explains how to protect your home from burglars this holiday season — from not checking websites and keeping family reunions private.
Anthony Neri, Managing Director of safe.co.uk told FEMAIL why it is dangerous to post pictures of gifts under the tree (stocked image)
Make sure the tree picture is close
Showing home transitions and winter wonders is one of the popular posts on social media. However, in addition to displaying any decorations, the layout of the property is also featured on TikTok videos and Instagram Reels, Anthony explained.
This will give thieves the opportunity to scale the house and plan their way for quick access to the items they want to take.
When sharing any photos, try to focus on certain elements such as table decor or a Christmas tree. This way the joy of Christmas is shared without drawing a layout for every room.
Anthony explained how widescreen photos showing the whole house (photos, stock photos) can show thieves your home layout
Stop sharing snapshots of exterior decorations showing the house
“Door decorations are getting more and more extravagant with the year, as well as the use of wreaths, bows, lights, and accessories to create the perfect home entrance for Christmas,” explained Anthony.
However, close-ups of the door can show the locks and door materials, allowing thieves to plan any tools, as well as their approach to break-ins.
Try posting close-ups of any exterior decorations such as reindeer statues or lights, rather than revealing a roadblock that stands in the way of thieves, and your home’s exterior layout.
Don’t post pictures of gifts under the tree
Anthony warned that beautifully wrapped gifts can be very aesthetically pleasing and tempting to share snaps – but this can also show thieves where expensive gifts lie and are ready to be grabbed.
Whether the photo or video shows gifts placed under the tree, or purchased and wrapped, you are instantly showing a thief that these items will be littered and available on the property throughout the run-up to Christmas Day,” he explained.
“Keep gifts secret, and when posting a picture of the tree, to make sure no gifts are on display.”
Anthony explained that close-ups of the door can show the locks and door materials, allowing thieves to plan any tools, as well as their approach to the break-in.
Avoid entering other people’s home on social media
Anthony explained that with Christmas visits being restricted last year for many, family reunions will be on the table across the country, but it’s best to avoid announcing you’re not home.
Posting with relatives or friends will announce the fact that you are not at home.
To be careful, avoid checking into social media sites. Post any pictures when you get home, and when you are away, make sure you have security lights, and lights ticking inside, to give the illusion that people are there,” he added.
Say goodbye to selfies while shopping
“In the lead up to Christmas, getting ready for Christmas can often be a stressful but exciting time,” Anthony continued.
Avoid sharing stories of any store queues, or any online orders as they may indicate items you will have in your home, waiting to be opened in eight weeks, which is a big window for thieves to take them.
“Sharing any content days and weeks after it happens is better than doing it live. Try posting days after Christmas, so the thieves know this is not happening right now and now wouldn’t be the ideal time to try to steal.