So you think it’s really a far-out left-field idea: a burglar studying Facebook and other social media to select homes to rob. Well think again.
- 78 percent of burglars use social media to select targets.
- 74 percent touted the virtues of Google Street View.
- 54 percent pointed out how risky it is for social media users to reveal their whereabouts and status.
- 80 percent said a home alarm system would scare them away.
So with everyone and his brother on social media, why wouldn’t burglars also jump on this bandwagon?
Why Burglars Love Social Media
- People share every detail of their vacation—while on vacation. If there’s a photo of you sipping a margarita in Cancun, a burglar knows he has plenty of time to break into your house. Can’t you wait till you’re home to post all the photos?
- Apps may have location-sharing features. Find out if yours do and review the privacy features. Did you know that these features can synchronize with other social media and reveal your whereabouts to strangers?
- Do you know just who can see what you post on Facebook? Check the privacy settings and make sure you understand just who can see your posts.
- Applications on your phone may be using your GPS without your knowledge. If you have an Android, go to Settings, then Location Services, then turn off the GPS. For the iPhone go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services and System Services. Turn on Status Bar to see which apps know your every move. For the Windows phone go to Settings, then Location.
- Did you know that a photo is worth a thousand words when posted online? Words that burglars love, too. Crooks could extract “EXIF” data from photos that reveal where and when they were taken—including your home address. Though Facebook strips out this data, many sites don’t. EXIF data can be removed.
- In theory, a burglar can do a reverse image search and learn too much about you. He may do a search on one of your images to learn everywhere else it appears in cyberspace, leading to your social media accounts and hence, username/s. If your username is your actual name, and it’s not too common like Patricia Adams, and your social media accounts reveal your city, he can find your address via a people-search directory.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Your “Status” is Important to Others
People have always paid attention to your status. Now they do it on social media. Status is your “standing” in society. It could mean whether you are married, employed, rich, poor, saving the world, up to no good, home or not. Status in terms of home security begins with your whereabouts. By now we should all know
- Removing Location data from Mobile Pics
Those cutesy photos in your phone of your puppy can reveal your location because the images leave footprints leading straight to your home. The trace data is called EXIF: exchangeable image file format. It may contain GPS coordinates of where you took the photos. Apple’s and Google’s smartphones ask owners if it’s okay to access their
- Geo-tagging: Is Your Smartphone Revealing Your Location?
Location-based services utilize geo-location information tied to your phones GPS and in some cases your carriers connection and even WiFi Geo-location or geo-tagging can be used on PCs, but is primarily applicable to mobile phones. The geo-location software usually obtains its data from your device’s Internet protocol (IP) address or your global positioning System (GPS) longitude and latitude.
- Is your Phone being tracked?
The owner of your favorite restaurant may be tracking your every move—via your smartphone. Not because he’s a snoop, but because he believes knowing when and where you go for entertainment will benefit his business. And how did he pull this caper off? There’s are companys out there, that place sensors in businesses within a confined
- Don’t Let Location-Based Services Put You in Danger
Location-based services utilize geo-location information to publish your whereabouts. In some cases, these services can also provide discounts or freebies as a reward for “checking in” at participating businesses and gathering “points.” These services can also be used to share photos and other media in real-time with your friends and followers. Geo-location or geo-tagging can be used on