Status Updates Help Burglars Pick Their Prey
Back in September, UK home security firm Friedland issued a report with startling statistics regarding social media and its relation to home burglaries. The company found that an overwhelming 78% of ex-burglars interviewed said that they strongly believed social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are being used by thieves when targeting properties, with nearly 74% stating that, in their opinion, Google Street View was also playing a role in today’s home thefts.
And the holidays are a prime time for burglaries, with nearly 400,000 occurring in the months of November and December, with family homes targeted most frequently. According to information from Mercury Insurance:
“Social media is definitely a factor in many of today’s burglaries. Instead of watching for mail to accumulate outside your residence, burglars can case your home by simply scanning your Twitter feed and monitoring your Facebook status for any signs you’re away,” said Joanna Moore, Mercury Insurance chief claims officer. “And it’s only getting easier with new features like Facebook Places, which allows users to divulge their exact location by simply checking in.”
The company recommends using social media to your advantage by updating your sites to give the impression you are home, therefore deterring any potential outside interest in your property.
The video below shows what happened when supposed “friends” took advantage of one Facebook user’s status update.