How burglars use Twitter and Facebook to target your home

Updated: 

Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Four out of five burglars agree, Facebook and Twitter are the best things to happen to their particular line of work in a long time.

That's according to a survey held by security firm Friedland, which interviewed a number of criminals who have been convicted of burglary this year.

One claimed that trawling a potential victim's social media gave valuable insights into recent purchases, holiday plans and a diary of when they intended to be at home or out and about. All this could be used to pick a time and place for a crime.
Then all the burglar needs to do is boot up Google Street View to get a good look at the property for alarm systems, entrance routes and exit points before striking. And a lucrative business it is, as most burglars get away with £487 on a single visit, according to the study.

Sense of privacy
The narcissism of social media does have a down side. All this 'Look at me, look what I'm doing' has a price and the fact that absolutely anyone can find out all about you, your property and your movements is just one of the pitfalls that comes with the voluntary surrender of any sense of privacy.

But bearing in mind that this survey was carried out among felons who had actually been convicted, can you really put your house on the results? Maybe the interviewer has just given them the best good advice they've ever had!

Because many burglars are simply old school opportunists, as any policeman will tell you. An open window or an unlocked car are things that attract them, not hours spent friending someone on Facebook.

And after all, if those convicted burglars that were interviewed were actually that clever, would they have been caught?

Anyway, in the future keep an eye out for Facebook friends and Twitter followers with suspicious handles and steer clear of anyone who signs off 'Big Bad Burglar. Lol'.

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