Modern day burglars are turning increasingly to social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter etc. in order to determine who, and when, to burglarise. They use it to figure out your schedule and whereabouts, as well as to eye up your possessions, from a safe location.Thieves can also make use of Google Maps and Google Street-view to eye up likely-looking homes, and to plan escape routes.
Over 75% of convicted burglars believe that other burglars are using social media to choose targets.
HOW ARE THEY DOING IT?
An advanced search on a social media platform can be used to target people that are likely to be away from home…
A criminal can search for people ‘checking in’ at the local airport, and check the feed periodically to look for new victims. For this reason, you should be very careful about what you post if you are ‘checking in’ somewhere that might lead someone to believe that you are going away from home.
Similarly, when your location data is added to a post made on social media, it shows that you are away from home and how far away you are. Burglars can use this to gauge how long they have before they need to exit your property, potentially meaning that they will spend longer and be more thorough when burglarising your home, and are more likely to get away.
With this in mind, please ensure that you are always conscious of sharing your location using social media, and that you take preventative measures to keep yourself and your property safe.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Being conscious of what information you share online is very important, and can stop you from becoming a target of many different types of crime. Take a look at our top tips for staying safe using social media:-
- Make sure that your location is not shared automatically on Social Media sites.
- Where possible, change your privacy settings so that only friends can see what you share.
- Never accept a friend request from someone that you don’t know.
- Do not share your address or contact information on social media.
- Go through your profile and reverse stalk yourself. How much information could you obtain if you were a burglar looking at your page? – Delete or make private anything that you wouldn’t like a stranger to see.
SECURING YOUR PROPERTY
Don’t answer the door to strangers.
You should always check who is at the door before opening it. If you do not know the person, or you weren’t expecting them, don’t open up! They may try to talk their way into your home by lying about their identity, so always ask to see identification, too. Remember, any legitimate trades-person or other professional will have an ID card, and won’t be offended if you ask to see it!
Fit a visible intruder alarm.
A visible intruder alarm, even if it is just a dummy, acts as a very effective deterrent against burglars. It shows off very clearly that your home is fitted with security devices, and that it may be difficult and risky to burglarise. In fact, 90% of burglars say that they would completely avoid a home with an intruder alarm system.
Establish a bed-time security routine.
This should include ensuring that all doors and windows are locked, that valuables are put away, and that your alarm(s) are enabled. This may sound quite obvious, but a shocking 30% of burglars gain entry through an unlocked door.
Consider installing surveillance equipment
CCTV can be highly beneficial, acting as a criminal deterrent, but also capturing possibly vital evidence which could lead to the retrieval of your goods, and conviction of your intruder, should a they be successful in entering your home.
If you have questions about anything mentioned in this post, or if you would like more advice on keeping yourself and your property safe, please feel free to get in touch and we will help in any way we can.
Tyneside Security supply, install and maintain Security Systems in across the North East. This includes intruder alarms (burglar alarms), CCTV and fire alarms. We also install security lighting, access control systems and much more. The first step is to organise a free survey with one of our Security Experts who will determine your exact requirements and give you a no-obligation quotation for your bespoke security package. The system will then be fitted by one of our experienced and highly reliable engineers, who will look after you and your equipment for years to come.
Tyneside Security operates right across the North East of England, including: Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Northumberland.