Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare Users BEWARE of Digital Criminals…
A recent survey, carried out by UK home security experts Friedland, has revealed that a whopping 4 out of 5 (78%) of burglars believe social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter & Foursquare, are being used by thieves to target their potential victims.
As many social networking users post multiple updates on social networking sites, thieves not only get information about recent purchases, but also the dates and times of when they have vacated their property.
Based on the answers of offenders who were convicted of burglary this year 74% of those surveyed believe that Google Street View is playing a large part in today’s home thefts as well.
Interestingly though, the same amount said a simple home alarm would have deterred them from targeting the property in the first place! The survey revealed that a thief steals an average of £487 from a home on a single visit, and the average home burglary takes just over ten minutes to commit – the time it takes to walk to the corner shop and back – and shockingly, only two minutes to break into a household with no visible security. The report also revealed the top 5 most common mistakes that homeowners are making in the eyes of the ex-burglars surveyed are:
- 94% of home-owners leaving windows open
- Over three quarters (78%) leaving valuables in easy view of passers by
- Over half (54%) placing their status and whereabouts on social networking sites
- 52% making the common mistake of hiding keys by doorways
- Half (50%) stated that parcel deliveries left out was a big draw
Richard Taylor, a convicted burglar who took part in the survey commented: “We’re living in the age of the digital criminal and people are taking advantage of social media to access information about would-be victims.
“We’ll tell them even when we’re going away on holidays. We will let them know that we’re not in. We’re inviting them round to our house.”
Now, don’t panic & delete all your social media profiles and swear never to use the internet again – that would just be silly…! This can be easily avoided by using a bit of common sense and following these 5 simple tips from LandlordReferencing:
1. Get a good home security system – would you really risk spending around £100, with the risk of losing 10 times that?? 2. Get Home Contents Insurance .3.Make your tenants aware of this and remind them not to share anything too publicly about your property on social networking sites (and in general). 4. Remind your tenants to be vigilant at all times, making sure all windows are locked when going out, not leaving valuables on show, etc. 5. Introduce your tenants to their fellow neighbours, and encourage them to befriend and converse with them as they can look out for each other too.