Burglars are not what they used to be. Before, choosing targets was easy: unsecured houses located in dark areas, with no CCTVs. Today, it has become easier: homes whose owners talk a lot on social media.
Thieves on Tech
Burglars have taken advantage of technology to pick ideal targets. Interestingly, they’re not the masked cyber hackers you’re expecting. In fact, all they need is a Facebook profile. How exactly do they do it?
When you post a picture of your favorite pasta dish, along with that Facebook “check-in” at a restaurant near your house, it’s not only your friends who’ll “like” it, thieves like it, too. So much so that it’s just the right information letting them know you’re not in your house, the perfect timing for a break in. Of course, the situation becomes ideal for thieves if you’re sharing online that you’re at a trip abroad, miles away from your home.
All this can be done even if you’re not friends on social media with these burglars. If your posts are on public mode, everyone, including thieves who intentionally look for profiles near them, can see those information.
The key to keeping these social-media-savvy burglars at bay is to be more social media savvy than them. Keep your posts on a private setting and think twice before sharing personal information online. Don’t accept friend requests from strangers. Be discerning, even for those who are “friend of friends”.
In addition, it’s best to post those travel photos weeks after that trip. Yes, it takes out the fun in real-time broadcasting you’re in Europe, but for security’s sake, keep it low-key.
Of course, increasing security for your home is still a must. Install door latches and locks, not just on your front doors, but for bedrooms, in closets. There’s no harm in triple protection. Make sure to double-check those locks on doors and windows before going to bed or leaving the house.
When going out, it’s important to make the illusion that your home is occupied. So leave the lights on in your yard and inside the house. If you’re going to be out for a long time, say when you travel overseas, connect your lights to automatic timers so you can turn them on and off whenever appropriate. If you can ask neighbours to take mail or deliveries when you’re away, all the better. You don’t want those building up on your doorway, a dead giveaway that you’re not home.
Burglars have gone techie in their tactics. Outsmart them by being more social media savvy.