Security expert reveals the snaps you should never post of your home this Christmas
The halls are decorated, you’re catching up with loved ones after the divorce during lockdown, and it promises to be a real Christmas again, so you might be tempted to share snaps of your festivities on social media?
But with nine million #ChristmasDecor hashtags on Instagram and 586.2 million TikTok views, Safe.co.uk security outlets warned that sharing too much online during Christmas could put you at risk of burglary.
Anthony Neary, director of safe.co.uk told FEMAIL: ‘Christmas is undoubtedly an exciting time. However, it costs a lot of energy and money, and burglars are very conscious and active throughout December to spoil the fun.
“As we get closer to the holiday season, we wanted to advise families on how to post safely to social media, without giving away clues or signs to thieves.
‘Innocent secondment risks are not taken into account. Millions share vital information about their properties and its content on Instagram and TikTok, and we believe it’s important to always be one step ahead of thieves so we don’t have to deal with the pain a break-in can cause.”
Here he explains how to keep your home safe from thieves during the holiday season — from not checking in on locations and keeping photos of family reunions private.
Anthony Neary, director of safe.co.uk told FEMAIL why it can be dangerous to post pictures of presents under the tree (stock image)
Make sure the photo of the tree is a close-up
Showing home transformations and winter wonderlands is a common post on social media. In addition to showing decorations, the layout of the property can also be seen on TikTok videos and Instagram Reels,” explains Anthony.
“This gives burglars a chance to view the house and plan their route to quickly access the items they want to take with them.
“When sharing photos, try to focus on certain items, such as the table decor or the Christmas tree. In this way, the Christmas atmosphere is shared without mapping out the layout of each room.’
Anthony explained how wide home images (photos, stock photo) can show thieves the layout of your home
Stop sharing pictures of outdoor decorations showing the house
“Door decorations get more and more extravagant every year, and wreaths, bows, lights and accessories are used to create the perfect Christmas entrance to the home,” explains Anthony.
“But close-ups of the door can show the locks and door material so burglars can plan their tools and approaches to breaking in.
“Try to include close-ups of exterior decorations, such as reindeer statues or lights, rather than revealing the barrier that stands in the way of thieves, and the exterior layout of the house.
Don’t post pictures of presents under the tree
Beautifully wrapped gifts can be very aesthetically pleasing and tempting to share photos of, but it can also show thieves where expensive gifts are lurking and ready to grab, Anthony warned.
Whether the image or video shows the gifts nestled under the tree, or whether they are being bought and wrapped, you immediately show a burglar that those items will be lying around and available in the property throughout the lead up to first Christmas Day,” he explained.
“Keep gifts hidden, and if you post a photo of the tree, make sure any gifts are out of sight.”
Close-ups of the door can show the locks and door material so burglars can plan all the tools and approaches to breaking in, Anthony explained.
Avoid checking into other people’s homes on social media
As last year’s Christmas limited visits for many, family reunions will take place across the country, but it’s best to avoid advertising that you’re not home, Anthony explained.
‘Posting to family or friends will advertise your absence.
“To be careful, avoid checking in at social media sites. Post pictures when you get home, and when you’re gone make sure you have security lights and timed lights inside, to give the illusion that there are people inside,” he added.
No more shopping selfies
“In the run up to Christmas, Christmas preparation can often be a stressful but exciting time,” Anthony continued.
“Avoid sharing stories about queuing at stores or ordering online as this could indicate the items you will have in your house waiting to be opened in eight weeks, which is a big window for thieves to get their act together.” .
Sharing content days and weeks after it happens is better than doing it live. Try posting days after Christmas so burglars know it’s not happening right now and not the ideal time to try and steal.”