‘Social Networking Could Come At A Price’

‘Social Networking Could Come At A Price’
25 February 2010 | | Internet

People who use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are being warned they could face shelling out more for home insurance.

The fear is that the information users share online could alert potential burglars to their home’s vulnerability, for instance by revealing when they are on holiday.

Darren Black, head of home insurance at comparison website Confused.com, predicts the eventual outcome could be big hikes – up to 10% – in users’ home insurance premiums.

He said: “Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their information gathering, even using Google Earth andStreet View to plan their burglaries with military precision.

“Insurance providers are starting to take this into account when they are assessing claims and we may in future see insurers declining claims if they believe the customer was negligent.”

The warning was prompted by the emergence of a new site –PleaseRobMe.com – which alerts people when their online updates indicate they are not at home. The Dutch-based site automatically collects Tweets from people revealing their whereabouts through the mobile phone application Foursquare.

To keep secure both online and off, home security must no longer indicate merely physical locks, but must also relate to virtual safety too, according to Mr Black.

People are advised to never post their home address or home phone number on social networking sites.

Likewise, they should block strangers from viewing their profile and turn off location-based applications on Twitter andFacebook where possible.

Content courtesy of Sky News

https://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Social-Networkers-Warned-Using-Sites-Could-Push-Up-Insurance-Premiums/Article/201002415558624?lpos=UK_News_First_Technology_Article_Teaser_Region__0&lid=ARTICLE_15558

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