Burglars using social networks to target homes

Posted: 23rd July 2010

In a survey undertaken by the insurance company More Than, it was found that many burglars carried out a considerable amount of research before attempting to steal from someone's home.  The information from the survey was collected by consulting with 50 reformed criminals. 

Richard Taylor, a former burglar who is now a Methodist minister, said: In the old days you could buy information from a postman or from a milkman, about who was away on holiday. Now people are online giving you updates about going to the airport, about sipping their coffee, about everything.

I always say that on Facebook it says you have 900 friends. You don't really. You have one friend and 899 nosy people who vaguely know you.

Pete Markey, a spokesman for More Than, said: The research suggests that burglars still use tried and tested methods when it comes to breaking in to properties but that they're keeping up with the times too.

Using Facebook or Twitter to boast about a big night out or a fortnight in Barbados may impress friends and colleagues, but it's enough to give the social-media savvy burglar all they need to know.

The survey found that 68% of those questioned said they collected information about their target’s home and routine in advance of committing a crime, with 12% turning to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to pinpoint the whereabouts of a target and establish how long they would absent from home.

While nosey neighbours made little difference to the ex-burglars’ plans, an alarm, followed by a dog or CCTV were identified as the biggest deterrents.  The research highlights the need to be a bit more careful about what you post to your social network because you don't want to advertise your home to burglars.  A home burglar alarm system is also an important deterrent and one that should be considered if you plan to leave your home for any period of time, to go on holiday for example.

With Intamac's latest burglar alarm system, launched under the brand 'Halo', you can use the system as a deterrent to burglars while you are away, but an equally important feature of this system is its ability to alert you to any events that happen at the home.  If you are unlucky enough to be burgled while on holiday, wouldn't you like to know about it straight away so you can take action?  Even if that action is to ask a friend to go round to your home to check up on it. The Halo Starter Kit, used in conjunction with the monitoring service can let you know if an alarm is triggered by sending you a message by SMS, email and even a voice call via a landline phone.  Login to your online account to reset the alarm, view the events and even see live streaming images by connecting wireless IP cameras to your Halo alarm for your total peace of mind.

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