Innocent posts on Instagram and TikTok could help burglars targeting homes this Christmas.

Millions of people prepping for Christmas in the UK are putting themselves and their property at risk of theft by sharing risky information on social media.

Social media platforms are already starting to see a rise in gifts and decor posts online with nine million #ChristmasDecor hashtags on Instagram and 586.2 million TikTok views.

Security retailers Safe.co.uk has shared the following tips to make sure you won't become a victim of theft this Christmas.

Here's what you should be avoiding on your social media posts.

Showing gifts and the layout of your home online

72 per cent of parents admitted to posting their Christmas decor on social media in a recent survey.  

From sharing gifts under the tree to various photos of festive decor around the house, you could unknowingly give away the layout of your property and highlight entry points for burglars.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photo by Pixabay.Photo by Pixabay.

The layout of the property is easier to see on TikTok videos and Instagram Reels.

When sharing any photos, try to focus in on certain items such as the table décor or Christmas tree, that way the Christmas cheer is shared without mapping out the layout of each room.

This also applies to photos of Christmas gifts.

If an image or video showcases the gifts nestled under the tree or being purchased and wrapped, you’re instantly showing a burglar that those items are going to be lying around and available in the property for the whole lead up to Christmas day.

Keep gifts under wraps if possible and, when posting a photo of the tree, make sure there are no presents in view.

Posting about family visits at Christmas

With last year’s Christmas restricting visitations for many, family reunions will be on the cards all over the country.

Posting with relatives or friends will advertise the fact that you are not at home.

To be cautious, avoid checking in to locations on social media and post any images when you are back at home.

When you’re away you could make use of security lights and timed lights - creating the illusion that people are home.

Outdoors and door close up's

Door decorations are becoming more and more popular as well as wreaths, bows, lights and accessories are used to create the perfect Christmas home entrance.

But close-ups of the door can show the locks and door material, allowing burglars to plan any tools and their approach to breaking in.

Try posting close-ups of any outdoor decorations such as reindeer statues or lights - rather than revealing the barrier that stands in the way of thieves, and the outdoor layout of the house.

Shopping

In the run up to Christmas, prepping for Christmas can often be a stressful yet exciting time.

Avoid sharing Instagram or Facebook stories of any shop queues and photos of online orders.

This could show all the expensive, giftable items in your house to burglars stalking your social media.

Try share any content days and weeks after the big day has happened so burglars know it isn’t currently happening and now won’t be the ideal time to try steal.

Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk, said “Christmas is undoubtedly an exciting time. However, it takes a lot of energy and money, and burglars are very conscious and active throughout December to spoil the fun. As we’re edging closer to the festive season, we wanted to advise families on how to post safely on social media, whilst not giving away any clues or signs to thieves.

“Innocent posting risks aren’t being considered as millions are sharing vital information about their properties and its contents on the likes of Instagram and TikTok, and we think it’s important to be one step ahead of thieves at all times, so to not have to deal with the pain a burglary can cause.”