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What Burglary And Instagram Have In Common

The word ‘burglary’ doesn’t often come into mind when thinking about university: ‘first day nerves’, ‘new bedsheets’ and ‘where has my spatula gone?’ are more common phrases. However, Bath Time has been informed that Swinton, a home insurance company, has revealed “a direct correlation between oversharing on social media and the UK’s most burgled locations.”

Even if Freshers Week was a long time ago for you, your parents at least will remember that the University, Bath specifically, is one of the safest in the country. With that in mind, why would posting on Instagram or letting your Snapchat friends know you’re going out affect the security of your possessions?

Anne Kirk, Customer Director at Swinton, has informed us that Swinton has analyzed over 70,000 risky social media posts and has stated that “sharing that [students] are going home for the holidays or even that they are heading out for the night could lead to an increased risk of burglary.”

What constitutes ‘oversharing’? For the insurance company’s calculations, they used the online posts of: Out of Home, New Home, On Holiday and New Car to discover the link. So if you’re regularly posting that sort of content on a public profile, maybe be careful if it’s time sensitive or wait until you’re home to post it.

Curiously, crime data has shown that nearly half of burglary offenders are known to the victim. This means that thieves are potentially monitoring social media accounts to seek out a window of opportunity. Turns out, students in the South, the South East in particular, are the most likely to overshare on social media. That includes University of Oxford, Southampton Solent University, the University of Surrey and Royal Holloway, University of London. Even though we’re not included in that list, we all know Bath students love to let everyone know as and when they’re going to Monday Night Bridge.

Considering this alarming information, a collaboration between Swinton Home and Yale UK has outlined a few guidelines. So, be careful of:

  • Sharing too much about their daily activities and whereabouts. If you live alone, don’t share that you have a lecture every Wednesday from 1-2.
  • Tagging your location every time you post that fire selfie before going out
  • Not accepting friend requests from people that they don’t know personally. Freshers weeks are an exciting time to meet new people, but how much do you really know about them?
  • Privacy settings – make sure that yours are set to friends and family only.

Darcey Stickley

Darcey Stickley is a final year Spanish & Politics student and Editor-in-Chief for 2020/1.