A leading home insurance provider has warned of the dangers of SatNavs, which are providing potential burglars the equivalent to a key to your front door.
According to AXA home insurance, satellite navigation devices are a contributory factor to the growing number of home burglaries in Britain. Around half the UK adult population currently have a SatNav in one form or another.
Statistics show that 25 million of us are using a SatNav in the form of either a fixed device, portable device, or through a mobile phone, and over half of these devices have our home addresses programmed into them.
AXA say that by stealing a SatNav while people are out, burglars will know where your home is and that it is empty.
Careless security surrounding your SatNav provides any opportunistic burglar with everything they need. If the car located at the registered ‘home’ address on the device, then it makes your house an easy target, with burglars able to let themselves in and take what they want.
AXA have suggested a number of easy security steps we can undertake to prevent becoming prey to opportunistic burglars. Registering your home address as a place near to where you live rather than the actual address makes it impossible for a burglar to know which your house is, or even simply taking the device with you if possible to minimise any risk.
Eight million of us also leave our spare keys in the car or around our properties – criminals know this is common practice and some may also watch a property to see where you go to fetch keys. Prevent yourself from being a target by leaving them with a friendly neighbour instead.
Checking other things to like your mobile phone to make sure it doesn’t provide your home address on it, or has a calendar on there that shows when you might be away can increase your security against potential burglars.
A spokesman for AXA commented, “Technology has huge benefits but many consumers are lagging behind when it comes to the additional risks it presents’ – as the trend towards using our mobile phone to organise our daily lives is also leaving us vulnerable to these criminals.”
The warning comes following a survey held last month which shows that burglary crime is on the rise since the recession. Offences have rose by 18.5%, a suggestion that the economic downturn may be fuelling a recession ‘crime wave’.
By Ben Malkin
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