Letter: Hi-tech burglars could now hack into a home

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The Independent Online
Sir: Alarm bells rang when I read that insurance companies, in an effort to assess risks more accurately, are to keep a database listing the weaknesses of individual homes ('Home contents insurance due for a shake-up', April 10). The example given is of a house being left empty between 5am and 5pm; but, presumably, details about dogs, alarms and other vulnerabilities will be needed. I suggest that, in this age of 'hacking', this be called the 'Budget' (Burglars' Universal Database Giving Easy Targets).

Most helpful might be information about where the spare key is hidden. Paradoxically, it is the insurance companies that stand to lose most from this new arrangement - the homes they insure will become the most vulnerable. Perhaps future claim forms should contain the question: 'Was access to the property gained through (a) the door;

(b) the window; (c) our database?'

Yours sincerely,

A. BARRY

Chichester, West Sussex

10 April

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