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AA warns: don't broadcast your festive holiday plans online

Don’t tweet or Facebook that you’ll be out of your home during the festive season, the AA has warned – because you never know who might be reading.

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Image: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

DON’T BROADCAST YOUR holiday plans online over the festive season, the AA has warned.

As people get set to leave their homes to visit families and friends here and abroad for Christmas, AA Home Insurance is encouraging people to remember that their online updates “can be highly viral through their circle of friends and followers and in turn their collective networks”.

This seasonal advice comes following an AA Home Insurance study which revealed that around 10 per cent of those active on social media in Ireland have at some stage alluded to their travel plans online.

Plus, 8 per cent of participants also indicated that while they personally had not made the faux pas, someone else within their household had done so.

The AA is also encouraging parents to ask their teenage children to be mindful of what they post this Christmas.

The poll showed that 42.6 per cent of participating 17 to 24 year olds admitted to “indiscriminately broadcasting” their travel plans and the AA fears this figures be considerably higher “among the more naive teenage demographic”.

John Farrell, Director of AA Insurance, said:

There are a lot of images of people’s Christmas trees and outdoor Christmas lights going up on the likes of Facebook at the moment. It’s wonderful to spread the Christmas cheer but just be careful, if you haven’t adjusted your security settings,  you could be sharing your house number, house name, vehicle registration and even street sign with people you simply don’t know.

AA Home Insurance is also appealing to those using check-in style sites such as Foursquare and Facebook Places not to list their home as a location.

Warned Farrell:

A recent survey of convicted burglars in the UK suggests that burglaries these days are less and less opportunistic.  Burglars will study your daily routine and analyse any available data on you so it’s good practice to think twice before you publish something about yourself on the internet.

Additional security advice for social media users this Christmas from the AA:

  • Ask your teenage children not to post or tweet about any family holiday plans.
  • Remove wall postings from friends that may allude to your travel plans.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know this Christmas.
  • Review your security setting, to restrict access to your personal profile information.
  • Use private DM or inbox facilities to communicate private messages this Christmas.
  • Don’t tweet or post about your Christmas gifts
  • Wait until after Christmas to post your holiday photos/videos

Read: Jump in burglaries happening across Ireland>

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