According to my dad, back in the day burglars would use newspapers to find their next victims. They would scour the paper for weddings, funerals, family reunions, things that would take people out of their homes. With this information they would know when homes would be unoccupied and plan their crimes accordingly. Just imagine what social media has done to the business of “burglary”. Today you have Foursquare, Facebook check-in, Tripit and many other outlets that broadcast to the world your whereabouts, and subsequently when your home will be unoccupied.
People are not going to stop using these social applications, but there are ways they can use them safer. Here are a few tips. Check your privacy settings on Facebook to ensure only friends are seeing your activity. Only add actual friends to your social networks. Refrain from making announcements on social sites regarding extended trips. Don’t post pictures that reveal the address or location of your home. Don’t post pictures of expensive items in your home! Keep in mind the next time you post from your iPad that you can wait to leave for Cancun in the morning for 7 whole days! You just let the burglar know you would be gone, for how long, and that you have an iPad!