Could your social media activity invalidate your home insurance?

Dangers of Social Media for your home

Social media plays a leading role in so much of our lives but could your social media activity actually invalidate your home insurance? From location sharing to including too much personal information on your social media profiles; it could be worth considering whether your online activity could leave you or your home vulnerable.

Be aware of your social media privacy settings.

There are regular privacy setting updates on Facebook which are worth taking note of. While you might have your preferences may be set to only share your content with your friends, updates can override your chosen setting so it's worth checking regularly that you know who else is seeing your content.

Know about GPS on your device.

If you like to check in on Facebook or tag your location on Instagram, you'll already be very aware of just how accurately your location can be pinpointed. Even taking a picture records your location, on an iphone. And you don't need to have an internet connection for this to be the case.

While this sort of functionality is really useful when you're posting, it could be problematic if you're not at home or are abroad travelling as you could be alerting more than just your friends to your unoccupied home. In some cases, this could even invalidate your home insurance but you should check your individual policy terms for your home insurance provider to be sure.

Beware of overshare

Many online profiles need you to supply a lot of information to register and recover your details, if you need to. You may need to supply your email, date of birth, first pet, schools you've attended, mother's maiden name. Consider that all of these pieces of information are often also used as the security questions at a number of institutions, including your bank. If you have any security concerns then you should avoid registering and find out more about how the site or application holds your data if you choose to progress with registering.

Be careful of competitions & newsletters

All terms and conditions that you accept should be read prior to acceptance although a Guardian survey found that only 7% of people actually read the terms and conditions. It's common for the terms and conditions of competitions to mention sharing your details with third parties. This can open you up to unsolicited email or phone contact from parties much wider than the newsletter or competition host, such as phishing emails. These could cause damage to your computer or device, even using your location data services to compromise your browsing online if you use auto fill, for example.

Know your online persona

Google yourself to have an insight on how much personal information you've put out there. You might be surprised at who you are linked to, or the image results which you are associated with. In extreme circumstances, you can apply to Google for the right to be forgotten.

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