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Social media junkies update holiday status despite burglary fears

Despite concerns that burglars could be tipped off about empty homes, a growing number of British holidaymakers are becoming social media junkies who cannot resist up-dating their status once they have arrived at their destination.

10 July 2014

New research by The Co-operative Insurance reveals that three quarters of adults (75.5 per cent) worry about home security when they go on holiday with 45 per cent concerned about digital updates signposting thieves to their vacant property.

However, this uneasiness does not prevent more than half of travellers (51 per cent) admitting to always or occasionally using social media to tell their friends what they are doing and where they are, with women (55 per cent) more likely than men (49 per cent) to post updates when they are away from home.

James Hillon, Director of General Insurance, The Co-operative Insurance said: “Burglary is never an easy event to deal with especially when you arrive back from a holiday. That is why we encourage our policyholders to be cautious and to think about their social media activity when away from home.

“Social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends but it also has its risks as updating your every move can increase the chance of your home being burgled. As a responsible and fair insurer we want people to do the right thing and protect their homes.”

Also revealed in the survey:

  • Almost three quarter of adults (74 per cent) said that they did not realise they could deactivate location settings on their social media accounts making it easy for burglars to know when they are not at home
  • Almost half of those surveyed (49 per cent) said that they do not regularly check their privacy settings on their social media accounts with just over 10 per cent saying they did not know how to change their settings making their lives open to snooping
  • When asked about their Facebook circle, 33 per cent of adults said that they do not personally know everyone and many of their contacts are ‘friends of friends

The Co-operative Insurance social media tips

  • Regularly check your privacy settings on social network sites that you use
  • Take the time to google yourself every now and again. Click through to any links that appear and you’ll instantly know what strangers can see about your life and your whereabouts – if you don’t like what you see adjust your privacy settings
  • Check what personal information is visible on your profile – it’s not a good idea to share your address or date of birth with strangers
  • It can be nice for everyone to see where you took that photo of the gorgeous sunset but consider whether to turn off things like ‘photo map’ in Instagram or locations in your tweets

Research was conducted online by 72 point on behalf of The Co-operative Insurance questioning 2000 respondents across the UK between the age of 18 and 55+.

Notes to editors:

  • The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.”
  • Owned by over eight million members, The Co-operative operates a total of 4,500 outlets, with around 87,000 employees and has an annual turnover of £11 billion.
  • The Group operates across two core divisions of Retail and Consumer Services.
  • The Consumer Services Division includes Funeralcare, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, Co-operative Insurance, a major UK general insurer and CLS, The Group’s legal services operation.
  • Co-operative Insurance offers business, home, motor and pet insurance products.

For further information please contact:

Lauren Hoult
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 767 4256
Email :


10 July 2014