Well it’s a bit too late for me to heed this advice but is anyone else rather surprised that an insurance company is advising holiday makers not to post on social networks twitter and facebook that they’re away from their homes or on holidays this festive season?
No doubt insurers want to minimize any amount of payout to claimants no matter how big or small but I also think this is a bit of a PR exercise to get the insurance company’s name in the paper more than anything. Let’s just go through the practicalities shall we especially given that I post my entire life to facebook when on holidays:
1. I’ve just googled myself, can’t find my address anywhere so even if the robbers did know I was away, is me being away relevant, especially if the robber lives on the other side of the city, state, country to me? If he/she really wants to rob me, can’t they just sit outside my house to see if I’m home?
2. Our home phone number and address are not listed anywhere. Not even in the phone book not on facebook, I figure you can find me on my mobile and that’s permanently attached to me so that’s all you need to know. Robbers aren’t going to have much luck finding where I live unless they have access to my telecommunications or electricity providers data and even then, seriously, robbers, could you be bothered?
3. Most robbers know that 50% of people are away after Christmas, no luck with me robbers, we’re at home, just went away and you missed your chance with us. Robbers all know they have a one in two chance of hitting an empty house after Christmas without using social networks. DER!
4. Even if we’re on holidays and posting like maniacs, what’s to say we don’t have a 5 star alarm system with 24/7 surveilance and a big angry Doberman out the back?
5. Petty thefts generally happen when someone is in need of some quick cash. Therefore I’m not sure that the robbers who are in need of the quick theft/cash presumably for a hit of something are actively stalking facebook and then spending time researching where their victims are. Wouldn’t it be easier to watch an apartment and see who’s gone out for the night and left the bathroom window open? That’s how we’ve been robbed in the past…..
6. What if the person who’s away has someone minding their house for them? Or, left a few teenagers at home? There’s no guarantee that robbers can know that your house is totally empty unless you post it of course.
7. What’s to say there’s anything in my house worth taking? I tend to take the most valuable things with me when on holidays: All my jewellery, kids, and hubby – if a robber can manage to get the 200kg + TV out the front door, good luck, we had enough trouble getting it in the house, plus it’s past it’s use by date now so I’m sure that hubby wouldn’t be too upset if it was takeNothing else worth taking I’m afraid.
8. Where we live, there’s no escape path and my neighbours tell me when a parcel has been delivered from Ebay or when Mum’s let the kids play out the front of the house for more than an hour, there’s NO CHANCE that robbers could get in and out of our house unnoticed when we’re away. When we lived in Willoughby there was a syndicate of people stealing airbags from cars parked in the street late at night. Why? A) Because the airbags were worth a lot on the black market B) They were generally nice cars and C) Because Willoughby was one street away from a straight drive over the bridge into never be seen again land. There was no need for social networks when this was up and running.
9. Get through the clutter and you’re welcome to it. Yes, that’s right robbers, once you’ve stalked my private facebook account to ascertain that I’m away, stalked Telstra to find my address, monitored the house to see if the Doberman will eat humans and you can do Tom Cruise action to de-activate the alarm system, you then break in – then you have to get through all the clutter to determine that I have taken anything valuable with me. The clutter in this place is enough to put me in to conniptions, I reckon the robbers would take one look and think ‘stuff this’, who’s needs kids artwork anyway, let’s go back to where the people with real stuff to steal are.
I really think that if the robbers are going to come and steal from you, it won’t have ANYTHING to do with the fact that you or your kids are posting that you’re having a pleasant time elsewhere. I suspect it’s because someone thinks you’re ripe for the picking or you’re just unlucky.