I remember when social media first started becoming really popular back around 2009, people who were much older than me would many times make comments about how unsafe they thought it was for us to announce our whereabouts to the world. Although that concern seemed legit on a logical level, most of us who love social media just rolled our eyes about it.
However, according to a recent study focused on burglaries in the UK, 4 out of 5 ex-criminals admit that they believe most burglars today use social media and Google Street View as tools for planning which houses to break into. This of course includes geolocation services like Foursqaure, but it also includes simple Twitter and Facebook updates that confirm exactly when we are or aren’t home, or those updates that announce our vacation plans. Since the average home burglary only takes ten minutes, it’s an easy target if someone announces on social media that he or she is at a restaurant or airport for example.
On the flip side, social media can also be helpful when it comes to burglaries. There are many stories of people who have used Facebook to identify the criminals who have broken into their homes. This infographic, created by Credit Sesame, points out some interesting facts about the security of our home with regard to social media. One thing that surprised me on here was how many more homes are robbed during the day compared to at night. I had no idea!