As Uk Prepares For Festive ‘house-party Season’ New Research Reveals Half Of Teenage Facebook Parties Face Gate Crasher Risk

19 December 2011

Over half of teenage house party invitations on Facebook (54%) include address details that can be seen by anyone with access to the internet, according to new research(2) from Sainsbury’s Home Insurance. The research(2) also suggests that 10% of those hosting a Christmas or New Year party have made the location of these parties visible to all.
Despite Facebook taking steps this year to make it easier for site users to restrict their privacy settings, young people are still risking an influx of gate crashers at their house parties by posting details of birthday, graduation and house parties openly on the social networking site. The recent privacy u-turn and personal admission of mistakes by Mark Zuckerberg should see rules further tightened next year.
The supermarket bank’s research(1)  also reveals that 15% of under-18s have been to a house party in the past 12 months where gate crashers had turned up, and 16% say they have been to a house party in the past year where they didn’t know the host.
In the past year, one in five under-18s (19%) have been to a house party with no adult supervision and 12% have been to parties where damage has been caused to the walls and furnishings. Some 12% of teens have been at a house party where neighbours complained and 10% reported seeing other party goers indulging in dangerous or irresponsible behaviour(1).
Shockingly, in the past year, 4% of teens have witnessed theft from a host’s house and the same number witnessed theft of other party-goers’ personal belongings(1).
Sainsbury’s Home Insurance is encouraging homeowners to be even more vigilant of their child’s activity on social networking sites during the festive season.
Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance said: “The way people are invited to parties has changed dramatically over the past few years. Social media sites are a great way of organising an event but if site users don’t take proper precautions they can significantly increase the risk of receiving unwanted guests.
“Frighteningly, our research suggests that of the average 241 Facebook “friends” teenagers admit to having, nearly half don’t know them well enough to let them into their home.
“Accidental damage cover is an essential element of home insurance that homeowners shouldn’t do without but they should bear in mind that they could potentially invalidate their cover if they haven’t taken reasonable care; a house full of unwanted, unruly, guests could mean that any damage caused might not be covered.”
The findings(1) also reveal that Facebook and the associated ‘Facebook Places’ app are together the most regular place for under-18s to hear about a house party with 80% (73% and 7% respectively) of youths saying they hear about social events via these means, 19% also regularly hear about parties through Blackberry Messenger and  8% through Twitter.
Indeed, the rise of location-based networks like Facebook Places and Foursquare and an increase in the use of hand-held internet-enabled devices is enabling young people to advertise their presence at parties in real-time, potentially increasing the risk of a sudden influx of unwanted guests.
For more information on Sainsbury’s Home Insurance call 0800 731 7978 or visit


For further information, please contact:
Ian Morris / Tom Wilson
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7282 1037 / 2842


Notes to editors:
(1) Vision Critical interviewed 273 12-17 year olds between 7th and 13th November 2011
(2) Sainsbury’s Finance examined 50 randomly UK parties on Facebook between 17th and 18th November 2011

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