With a reported 800 million users and a looming $5 billion IPO (Initial Public Offering), Facebook has been much in the news lately. But there have also been repeated articles about what not to share on social media, unless you want to come home to a ransacked house and missing cash, jewelry, and electronics. That’s because the bad guys are cyber-savvy, too, and when we broadcast our plans to our friends, and their friends, and their friends’ friends, bad things can happen. This recent article on burglar behavior and social media spells it out.
Does your social media activity affect your home’s security and safety? The answer might be “Yes,” if you believe the results of a recent survey conducted among 50 ex-burglars in the United Kingdom. Nearly 80% of them said that they believe burglars today use Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to target which properties to rob. Keep that in mind the next time you’re about to Tweet your vacation plans or check into a location far away from your home.
But Wait – There’s More
It’s not just your home security that’s at risk: it’s also your cyber security, in the form of identity theft, phony charities, and other pitfalls of social media. And is real risk of social media “TMI,” as we share our plans (trips, parties, etc.) in ways that draw the eager attention of potential intruders. From CBS New York comes this list of social media safety tipson how to make sure you retain as much peace of mind as possible.
The Primary Suspects
Facebook and Twitter are increasingly becoming a standard part of our everyday lives, but Internet safety experts say some people put too much information in cyberspace. “Cyber-savvy criminals are very savvy, and they’re looking for things like that,” said Hemanshu Nigam, Internet security expert. “Instead of casing the neighborhood, they’re casing the online neighborhood.”
The main point: just like you lock the doors to your home, secure your social networking profiles. Not everyone on your list of friends needs to know you’re going out of town – and that your home will be empty for days.
On-line Shopping Can be Risky
If you’re searching for online deals on sites like Twitter and Facebook, be wary of clicking on links. Even if forwarded by a friend, take a second look. It could appear to be the deal of the year, but scammers can create pages that look just like the real thing – and you won’t get what you bargained for. “The next thing you know, you have a virus in your computer,” said expert Nigam. “And that bad guy owns your computer, and that’s not what you need at any time of year.”
Give the Safe Way
Another tip: If you plan to give to charities – or political campaigns – beware of anyone who asks for money on social media sites. Most reputable charities and political candidates are extremely transparent and professional when soliciting donations.
FrontPoint cares about your physical safety and your virtual security – it all adds up to peace of mind. After all, protecting homes and families is our highest priority. We’ll keep on sharing great tips when we find them: it’s our goal to be your resource for crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders. After all, FrontPoint is the only alarm company in the country to use safer cellular monitoring on every system we sell – and charge less for it. But what people really know us for is our smarter Interactive level of monitoring. Make sure your home is protected: by FrontPoint, the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.