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Burglars are Now Using Social Media to Find Victims

This might sound a little bit out of left field, but it’s true; burglars are now compromising Home Security using social media, including Facebook, to select a home to target and rob.

According to a recent survey:

  • 78 percent of burglars admitted to using social media to find homes to rob
  • 74 percent of burglars used Google Street View
  • 54 percent of burglars admitted that it is risky for people to share their status and whereabouts publicly
  • 80 percent of burglars say that they are scared off by a home alarm system

With so many people on social media, why wouldn’t a burglar try to do this?

Here’s Why Burglars Love Social Media So Much

  • People love sharing all of the details of their vacation…while they are on vacation. If you post a photo of yourself sipping on cocktail at the beach, a burglar will know that he or she has plenty of time to get into your home. It’s best to wait until you are home and THEN post all of your photos.
  • Many apps have a location-sharing feature. Find out if the apps you use do this, and then look at the privacy features. Many times, these can sync with other social media sites and share your whereabouts with anyone and everyone.
  • Do you know who can see your posts on Facebook? Check your privacy settings and make sure you know who has the ability to view your posts.
  • Phone apps might be using your GPS location without you realizing it. You can turn this off. On Android, go to Settings, choose Location Services, and then turn off GPS. On the iPhone, go to Settings, then Privacy, choose Location Services, and then System Services. You can then look to see what apps are following you. For the Windows phone, choose Settings and then Location.
  • When you post a photo to social media, there is much more information there than you might think. Smart crooks can extract data from your photos to determine when they were taken and where. This includes your home address. Facebook doesn’t allow this, but other social media sites do.
  • A burglar can also take a photo of you and do a reverse image search, which can also reveal a lot of information. He might search and image to learn more about you, and this can lead to your social media accounts, your usernames, and other information. They can then search with your name and learn a lot about you, all because they saw a photo of you on social media.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon.com author, CEO CreditParent.com, home security expert for Porch.com, and the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.

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