Did you know that over 75% of convicted burglars are using social media to find out when people are not at home or to gather information about the valuables they may have?
- Here are some hints to help you protect yourself;
Think about your social media updates, photos and details that you are broadcasting to the world – this information is priceless to a burglar. Had a great new games console this Christmas or perhaps a loved one treated you to some expensive jewellery. We know how tempting it is to tell your friends but is everyone on Facebook really a ‘friend’?
- The weather is dreadful right now, so there’s nothing better than a bit of winter sun. It’s also an added bonus being the envy of everyone you know, who will be still enduring the big freeze! Everyone loves to ‘check in’ at the airport or post a picture from the departure lounge bar with an update saying ‘see you in 2 weeks’. Think about it….You’re telling a burglar that your home is empty for the next fortnight. You may not think that you’re friends with burglars on Facebook but how strict are your security settings and how strict are your friends settings.
- Do you give a run down of your daily routine on social media? School run, work, gym, off out in the evening? You could be telling someone unscrupulous when the best time is to target your home. Think before you post information.
- Think about your hobbies and the information you are giving out. If you’re into cycling, then thieves may assume that you have an expensive bike in your garage or shed. What about that collection of valuable memorabilia that you’ve been spending your hard earned cash on? Priceless to you, priceless to a burglar.
- Take a moment to protect your social media profile. Never accept friend requests from people that you don’t know and take time to regularly check your current friends list. Ensure your privacy settings are high so that you’re only broadcasting to friends, rather than friends of friends – who knows who they have on their lists!
- Don’t add too much personal information, such as where you live, your phone number, where you work or your full date of birth. Identity theft is becoming more commonplace, so always safeguard yourself.
- Whilst you have no control over maps of the local area that are available on-line, think about how that information could be used coupled with the other points listed here. A burglar could easily piece together a full plan of action based on what expensive items you own, where they are stored, when you won’t be in and the best way to access your home and make a quick getaway.
Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch with each other and it really has revolutionised the way we interact – just make sure you know who you’re talking to and protect yourself from people who may take advantage.
If you would like any further crime prevention tips about protecting yourself and your valuables, please contact your local Neighbourhood Team. All details can be found on our website www.gwent.police.uk