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Facecrook: Burglars Using Social Media to Plan Crimes

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social media sites are some of the greatest innovations in recent history. They give us an interactive platform to communicate with friends and family, network with other like-minded professionals and make social connections with people on the other side of the planet.

However, there will always be those evildoers who exploit powerful new innovations for malicious purposes. In this case, burglars are among the many miscreants who do an injustice to social media.

How do they do it?

In the social media culture that we live in, people feel obligated to share everyday experiences as they happen. Although this trend is inherently harmless, ambitious criminals are beginning to use status updates, tweets and other digital announcements to monitor people’s whereabouts. By doing so, they can track when homeowners are away and plan break-ins at the most vulnerable times.

It may be easier than you think for a determined crook to connect the dots between your Facebook profile and home address. In many instances, social media profiles feature your full name, location, email address and other clues that snooping cybercriminals can use to find out where you live.

Before you hit send, think again

Fortunately, there is a simple remedy for this alarming trend – good judgment.

While that may sound simple, the reality is that many people (particularly younger generations) are unaware of the issue, and, in many cases, simply hooked on social media.

That’s why it’s important to spread awareness about this issue as much as possible. Users of Facebook, Twitter and other social media services should be encouraged to avoid sharing real-time information about their whereabouts, especially if they are planning on being away from home for an extended amount of time.

While it may be hard for some to resist expressing themselves to their digital friends and followers, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Adjust your privacy settings

Facebook recently rolled out a number of changes to simplify its privacy settings, so now is a good time to learn how to use and adjust them. You can access your privacy settings on the top menu bar.

Invest in a monitored home security system

You should also consider investing in a monitored home security system if you don’t already have one installed. Monitored protection, which is affordable for most people, enables a team of trained professionals to keep an eye on your home around the clock – even when you’re not there.