Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Social media snafu’s leading to home burglaries


In a recent meeting I attended a gentleman who works as a computer specialist told me a bout a website called http://pleaserobme.com which lists the recent tweets and social media updates of people that left home and are now vulnerable to having a burglar exploit them. Criminals can easily find the full name and address of location-sharers using Google Buzz, Foursquare or Twitter. According to FBI crime stats a home is burglarized every 15.4 seconds, and the average home robbery is under six minutes. New technology often has the effect of causing people to get swept up in the novelty and forget about safety measures. Facebook has announced that they will add a location share feature at the end of March 2010. This can be extremely dangerous and this is why the “please rob me site” was created. The site creators want to shock the people who are updating their location and announcing to the world that they are not home, into stopping such activities.
I have often heard people who do not understand social media or twitter say, “Who would be interested in what I am doing during the day?” Now we have the answer- the criminals. Announcing to the world that you are not home is not wise under any circumstances. Whether you use social media or not it is important to develop a security consciousness. Far too many people fall into the category of believing that a burglary can not happen to them. It really is not a matter of if it can happen but when, especially if you have not made the correct security measures. Security systems are not a luxury but a necessity, and just a cell phone everyone should have one. In fact security systems are as easy to obtain as a cell phone so there should not a reason for not having one.
In conclusion, never announce when you leave your home on a social media sight because burglars might be watching. Always lock your doors. Have adequate lighting and install a home security system.

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