Social media is becoming the best free tool for burglars. Depending on the settings, your smartphone may be using its built-in GPS capability to embed your exact location into the file of photos you take using the smartphone’s camera.
The process of embedding location information into photos is called geotagging. If you share your photos online, criminals can use the geotag to track your movements or find out where you live.
A new survey has revealed that social media posts can increase your risk of being burgled. According to crime data, 49 per cent of burglars are known to the victim, and therefore could have been tracking their habits on social media. So by letting everyone know you’re away, you could be opening your home up to thieves.
Another survey conducted in the UK shows that more than 78 percent of burglars are now using social media to find targets.
These statistics show that you may need to start thinking twice about what you’re posting on social media. A burglar can use social media to find out everything they need to know about you:
- If you checked in at a restaurant, they know you’ll be out for a couple of hours
- When you post pictures of your holiday, they know that they have at least a couple of days to strike
- Even casual mentions of your new work schedule, upcoming dinner date, or an event you’re planning to attend can offer important clues about your routine.
So keep in mind that the minute you post any of those details, the burglar can begin planning when and how they are going to strike.
While there’s nothing wrong with sharing photos and status updates on social media with your friends and family, be careful of your privacy settings as the wrong people could be looking at your check-ins, tweets, status updates and other social media posts.