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Home from home: Warning over new ‘scary’ TikTok trend

Who is in your house? Corresponding searches for ‘home security’ have correspondingly risen, climbing 525 percent during the past month.

Homes in London. Image (C) Tim Sandle
Homes in London. Image (C) Tim Sandle

TikTok may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is often influential, for good or for bad. One example of the negative side comes from a recent trend of accessing domestic properties. The strange trend sees users recording themselves walking into  homes uninvited. In the viral video that started the trend, the creator is seen walking through a front garden before heading straight into the London property, flanked by his two friends. He then refuses to leave, despite the residents pleading with them to vacate the property. The new trend, somewhat bizarrely, has amassed over 528.7 million views to date.

The implications for home security and home insurance are significant. With reference to the latter, corresponding searches for ‘home security’ have correspondingly risen, climbing 525 percent during the past month, partly due to the unwanted home-entry events taking place on the micro-video site.

Th is trend is from the perspective of the U.K. to the extent that the Metropolitan Police have recently shared concerns around the new TikTok trend, that sees users walk into random homes uninvited. Clips show invaders walking into open front doors and refusing to leave, despite homeowners pleading with them to get out.

To help alleviate some of these concerns, home insurance specialists A-Plan Insurance via Chris Biggs, the company’s Farnham Branch Manager has offered some advice to readers. Before doing so, Biggs allays the concerns: “It’s scary how quickly a harmful social media trend can take off, and whilst a good portion of commenters on the original video are condemning the creator’s actions, many others are finding it funny and insisting they’ll give it a go.”

Biggs continues: “And despite the creators not looking to steal or harm anyone whilst making the videos, they are still causing significant anxiety by walking into family homes uninvited.”

To safeguard a home, Biggs recommends:

  • Keep your front and back door closed at all times – even if you’re only a few steps away or are sitting out in the garden. This will be seen as an ‘easy win’ or ‘free pass’ for creators looking to up their likes by walking in.
  • Keep your doors, windows and gates locked when you’re in the house as well as when you’re out and about. Because these users don’t seem to grasp that what they’re doing is wrong, many won’t be deterred by you being in the house when they walk in.
  • Keeping vigilant will help.
  • Make sure your neighbours are made aware of the trend – even if it’s unlikely to occur in your area.
  • Flag any suspicious or concerning behaviour without delay.

Biggs says that his advice is particularly important for the areas that have higher burglary and theft rates, as there’s a higher likelihood of the ‘harmless’ trend escalating into something more severe. According to the latest crime trends from the British Government’s Office for National Statistics, overall theft increased by 20 percent over the last year, whilst there were over 2.6 million cases of theft and 271,500 incidents of burglary reported across the U.K.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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