Almost 80% of burglars use social media as a surveillance tool

Sunny Jan 29, 2012

“Off to the mall to buy a new pair of shoes”
“I’m heading to Starbucks, anyone want to come with me?”
“The weather here in Honolulu is just wonderful!”

Have you ever posted something similar on your Facebook page? If you have, then you might want to rethink your social media habits. Seemingly inane status updates such as these could be making you vulnerable to burglary.

This warning isn’t just something that’s being blown out of proportion by the workings of a paranoid mind. A survey conducted in the UK revealed that 78% of burglars use Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to pinpoint their targets and that 74% of them use Google Street View to scout out the neighborhood in which they will be conducting their operations.

Posting about your location, whether directly or indirectly, can clue potential burglars in to an opportunity for a quick score. If they see you checking into a place or using the location feature, they automatically know that you’re not home. Don’t be fooled into thinking that burglars won’t dare to steal during broad daylight. That burglars commonly conduct their operations during nighttime is a very common misconception. The truth is that 38.1% of burglaries occur during daytime, as opposed to only 20.5% at night. In fact, stolen goods often have higher value during daytime burglaries compared to nighttime ones.

The best thing that you can do to protect yourself against such incidents is to keep your profile completely private and to add only those people whom you personally know and trust. Don’t post anything that could give a clue about your current location. In fact, don’t post your exact address online or even photos that give a clue on where your home is located.

Take a moment to analyze your social media habits and check to see if you’re inadvertently endangering yourself and your family because of them. These days, one can never be too careful. Never take your online security for granted because the consequences could spill over into your ‘real’ life.

This infographic from Credit Sesame offers some insightful statistics on how important social media safety is for your security.

(2) Comments

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  2. CassandraT83 Mar 15, 2012

    This is spot on! I wouldn't post anything regarding my whereabouts on Facebook or Twitter! I can't understand how people use FourSquare or check into places constantly online... You don't need to broadcast to the world your every move! If you do, you had better hope you don't have a stalker! LOL.

    Anyway, when I leave for a vacation, my home alarm system has an extra measure of security to ensure not even a mouse could move inside without triggering the alarm! Now that's what I call peace of mind!