Insurance against burglary could be jeopardised if holidaymakers share details of their trips on social media.
The Financial Ombudsman Service warned that comments on Twitter and Facebook, locations check-ins on Foursquare and selfies uploaded onto Instagram can all being used by burglars to target empty properties.
Many consumers are unaware that insurers are likely to check social media accounts if they are the victims of crime – a practice that is already common for investigating medical claims, The Times reported.
Most insurance policies include clauses that specify that “reasonable care” must be taken to protect property.
The watchdog said: “People will cancel newspaper deliveries to make their absence less obvious but then post pictures of their trips – and even dates – online for everyone to see.”
Travellers should be particularly wary of posting comments that detail their itinerary, such as revealed they are enjoying the first day of a two-week holiday, it says.
Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers, said: “You should think carefully about what information you put on social media in order to help prevent the distress that a burglary can cause.”