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Social Insecurity With Social Media?

January 3, 2012

Does your Social Media activity affect your home’s security and safety?

The answer might be “Yes“.

In late October last year, an infographic started making the rounds on tech and media blogs. It showed, in alarmingly cute detail, the ways people are foolishly posting enough personal information online to give burglars an invitation to steal their stuff.

Titled “Status Update: Does Social Media Use Compromise the Security of Your Home?”, the infographic was published by credit sesame,

Among the more sobering bits of information in the infographic were that 78% of ex-burglars believe that current thieves use Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to target potential properties. Furthermore, it points out that 35% of Americans age 18 to 34 check in or tweet about their location.

Without getting too wrapped up about the accuracy of those statistics apparently provided by ex-burglars, we should pay close attention to the message they send. Think twice before you tweet your vacation plans or check into a location far away from your home!

Do Not Create Social Insecurity with the Use of Social Media!

  1. Limit your visibility. Before publishing anything personal, keep in mind that no social media account is completely secure. You do not want to announce to the entire internet that you have just packed your bathing suit and are getting on a plane. Set your Facebook privacy settings to allow only friends to see your content. Only add actual friends into your network.
  2. Check out on the check-in. To avoid potential stalkers or creeps, don’t check in on Foursquare the minute you arrive at a location. Instead, check in on your way out as you are about to leave for home.
  3. De-geotag yourself. Photo editing tools and photo websites offer the option to “geotag” your photos, embedding location data into your pictures. Especially if you take pictures at home and plan to post them online, disable this option. You should also disable location information if you are posting to sites like Twitter or Google Plus at home.
  4. Just don’t do it. It’s tempting to let online friends know you just swam with dolphins in Hawaii. But unless you want everyone to know that your home is obviously vacant while you are on vacation, wait to post about your experience until you are back home. It is not hard for criminals to look up your home address based on minimal information. “Your home is empty, you’re rich and you happen to be in Paris for the next week“. You wouldn’t post this information on a sign on your lawn. And you shouldn’t post it on Social Media either!
  5. Secure your home. According to ex-burglars, 78% of burglars admit that a cheap and simple alarm system would completely deter them from targeting a home in the first place.
  6. On the flip side. With the use of in-home surveillance cameras, Matt Schubert of Pittsboro, Indiana, captured footage of two burglars robbing his home. Schubert immediately posted images of the suspects on a Facebook page he created called “Break In Pittsboro, IN” and asked the community help him identify them. He received over 500 emails within 36 hours and successfully identified the thieves. This is just one of many stories of how Social Media can be employed to capture thieves.
When using Social Media, just use some common sense and you won’t affect your home’s security and safety.
If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.  You will be glad you did!


Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

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  1. Another awesome post Ulli! I really like your tips that you’ve provided about protecting yourself when it comes to Social Media. As social media has helped us to stay more closely connected with one another, there are others out there who are looking to use it for evil.

    In regards to Foursquare, my suggestion for women especially is to not add people that you don’t know in real life. And I completely agree about checking in on the way out, not when you arrive.

    Great work! You’re an all-star student Ulli! Love it!

    If you’re interested in learning more about the social media workshop that Ulli took, you can see details at

    • Appreciate the comment,Jeff! It just amazes me that so many people announce their plans for leaving town. Better make sure to activate your security system!Please, people! Common sense!

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