Security expert reveals insider tips on keeping your home safe
A leading security expert has advised people to be careful about what they post on social media when their homes are empty, warning: "Criminals have access to social media too".
John Kinsella, director of AccurA Security, says criminals are constantly scouring Facebook to check if people are out socialising.
Mr Kinsella says people should avoid airport check-ins on Facebook and posting statuses about upcoming holidays as it lets burglars know your home is going to be empty for the next week.
"If you really want to check-in, wait until you are back home and your house is no longer empty," he told Independent.ie.
Another piece of advice Mr Kinsella has for social media users is to avoid uploading pictures of expensive gifts they receive.
"Don't show the criminals what's on offer," he says.
Regards keeping valuable items in your home, the security expert says to keep keys and other items downstairs so that in the event of an intrusion, the raiders do not need to go upstairs.
"Material items can be replaced, you can't," he warned.
Here are his top tips for keeping your home safe from burglaries:
- Use your house alarm at all times. Remember, burglaries happen during daytime hours just as often as at night.
- Make sure that your CCTV system is tested and fully operational. A quick wipe with a clean cloth can make all the difference when it comes to identifying intruders.
- Have a USB memory stick ready in the event that you need to provide footage to gardaí. They may well have their own but don't take chances.
- Avoid photographing expensive items/gifts and displaying them on social media, don't show the criminals what's on offer.
- In the event of a family gathering, make sure that a responsible keyholder is available within a short space of time (no more than 30 minutes) to open the premises should you need to have the premises checked.
- Make sure your mobile phone is charged at all times and keep it on you - always.
- Beware of bogus collectors calling upon elderly friends and family. If in doubt, call the gardaí.
- Store the telephone number for your local garda station in your phone.
'Prevention rather than cure is the most important thing," he added.