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Is Social Media Leaving Your Home Insecure?

Whether you own or rent your residence, is it as secure as it should be?

In many cases, individuals set themselves up for a break-in or worse by telling the world that they are not home.

You’ve seen it before, check-ins, shares, tweets, announcing essentially that one is away from their residence, and that the timing may just be right for someone uninvited to stop by for a visit.

According to a report from California startup Credit Sesame, nearly 80 percent of burglars claimed after being caught that they had used Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare in targeting potential residences to rob. Meantime, 35 percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 check in or Tweet on their given locale regularly, giving those with bad intentions a heads up that the residence could be empty.

So, how can you keep your residence and possessions safe, yet still use social media should you choose to announce your coming and going?

According to different security tech experts, some of the things to do include:

* Keep personal information just that

While some people just love to tell the entire world what they are doing 24/7, be sensible about what and when you share, tweet and check-in. If you choose not to make your account private (meaning only those you want to see remarks can view them), then do not announce to the world that you’re gone from your home. Instead of telling people that you are going to an event, tell them you just returned home from the event for instance;

* Protect yourself

While anyone is susceptible to being attacked, women especially need to use social media wisely to announce their movements. Using your Twitter feed or Foursquare check-in to document that you are shopping at a well-known store and will be leaving soon to go home can be a recipe for disaster. Stalkers and others with bad intentions could note your location, see your picture on your social media profile, and confront you in the store parking lot or on your way home;

* Do not post photos of prized possessions

If you have a major collection of items at home that is worth money, do not post photos of it on your social media feeds. Not only does this invite would-be burglars when you announce you’re not home, but it gives them something to target. Also avoid providing any location information that can be easily found via a Google Maps search, as Maps’ “street view” option allows users to zero in on a street-level perspective, viewing homes from various angles;

* Try out a home security webcam

What is better when you are gone from home than having a security webcam set up in the residence? Especially for those who travel for work or fun, you can connect to the cam to see what is going on at your residence. Granted, seeing your pets doing some destructive things to your home while you are away may not be fun, but catching a would-be burglar in the act could make things much easier for law enforcement;

* Set up a neighborhood watch via social media

Lastly, residents can use a Facebook page or other social media tool to stay abreast of crime happenings in their neighborhood. Keep in mind that the page should only be accessible to residents, not for the general public. In working with local law enforcement, the page can provide education on protecting one’s property, updated numbers on local crime statistics, and information on any known criminals who have moved into the area after being released from prison.

While there are many great attributes to using social media in your daily life. don’t unwittingly use it to invite a home break-in or worse.

About the author: Dave Thomas covers consumer and small business topics for various websites, including how to go about finding the best security system.

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One Reply

  1. Secure your personal informations, social media is the way by which you can easily be tracked. SO be aware not to give your secret information on shareware.

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