How Thieves Use Social Media To Rob You

Thinking of tweeting about an upcoming holiday? Don’t. Thinking of sharing a photo of your latest grand purchase? Don’t. Thinking of checking in at the airport before your vacation? Don’t. Our incessant need to share more personal information than ever before have drawn burglars to using social media to help them pick their next target.

Tech-savvy burglars use publicly-obtainable information e.g. Foursquare check-ins, location-based Facebook updates, and metadata from shared images to locate potential victims. To illustrate the risk of over-sharing on social media, Distinctive Doors designed this infograph explaining how they do it, and what you can do to protect yourself. Hopefully, it’ll prompt you restrict the visibility of your updates and engage in more cautious sharing.

Click to enlarge.

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Comments (7)
  • Bill

    We have heard this rhetoric before and I agree that it is possible. I am sure thieves have even used Social Media to their advantage. However, I would like to see the stats that Social Media is contributing to a rise in crime. It is more likely that is is a very small blip on the total crime radar.

    I agree with @planecrash, a majority of homes are likely vacant most of the workday. Jackson, I understand your response, but it is still weak.

    People need to be smart, but no one will ever put the Social Media Genie back into the bottle. Let’s not try to stir up panic where there is nothing to panic over. An article on how to be smart would have been more appropriate than an unsupported article about burgers using Social Media.

  • Leah C

    I don’t post when I’m going away on social networks. I rarely post about an upcoming trip anywhere on the net. I do not post locations of where I am. I want a smartphone but am afraid of that happening without my knowledge.

  • PLANECRASH

    Just go to my house any weekday (workday) between 8:30 am and 6:00 pm. All of my stuff will be completely unattended. No social media needed.

    • Jackson Chung

      Are you familiar with the phrase “trail gone cold”? I’m sure you have if you’ve watched any crime dramas on tele. It refers to the fact that a long time has past since the crime was committed and any collected evidence proves to be no longer useful in tracking the criminal. Which is why it’s important to report a crime soon after it has happened or while it’s in progress.

      In your case, you would have realised a crime took place when you’re back home at 6 pm, and you can take immediate action to report it. It’s not the same when a person is on holiday and won’t realise the theft until they return.

  • Sherry

    I do not have ANY social networking accounts JUST BECAUSE of this reason. I am a Software Engineer that knows all too well how to infiltrate PCs, websites, and networks. I would never do this, but I have the knowledge how to do so.

    People have no idea what they are doing when they subscribe to these social networking sites. IT IS A MAJOR SECURITY RISK, even if you lock your accounts or web pages down.

  • ReadandShare

    Quoting from the Electronic Security Association about the efficacy of home alarm systems? Suggest exerting a bit more effort to lresearch authoritative and disinterested sources.

    • ReadandShare

      Typo. The above should read “research”. Wish we have an edit button…

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.