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social-media-securityWhen socialite Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris this week, it naturally made headline news around the world.

She had a lot of very expensive jewelry taken and reports suggest it was an incredibly traumatic incident.

She didn’t attract sympathy from all corners: many were quick to point out that a) the idea of owning (and wearing) jewelry worth in excess of $15million is fairly distasteful and that b) she had been broadcasting her location across social media in the hours leading up to the attack.

It is this latter point that interests us at DMA Law. While it might seem that the attack bore no real relevance to ‘normal’ people, it is a timely reminder about our approach to personal security on social media.

Security on social media

Kim Kardashian slipped up because she told everybody where she was: for members of the public, it’s important to avoid telling people where you won’t be – especially when you are leaving your house empty for a week or two whilst you go on holiday.

Everybody enjoys a sly boast when they’re heading off on holiday. Part of the fun of going away is knowing your colleagues are still at work while you lie on the beach drinking cocktails!

But shouting about it on social media isn’t the best idea. You never know who could be reading – even if you control your security settings tightly. You are basically advertising the fact that your home is potentially going to be unattended for a week.

A couple of decades ago, people would go to huge lengths to make sure it didn’t look as if they were going away on holiday – cancel the milk, get a neighbour to collect the post, set the lights to a timer so they come on at certain times. Nowadays, we like to broadcast the fact that we are leaving.

Will you still be insured?

A year ago, there were scare stories that insurers wouldn’t pay out if you advertised your holiday on social media, and were subsequently burgled. Fortunately, those were just scare stories, and the Association of British Insurers has confirmed that nobody has been declined a claim for that reason.

Still, better to be safe than sorry, right?