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A former policeman and security specialist is warning parents ahead of school holidays not to post holiday plans or updates on social media sites, as burglars increasingly turn to these platforms to virtually case potential targets.
Marsden Hulme general manager of security firm Vivint says as social media becomes ever more present in modern life many people are not as careful as they should be with their personal information.
He says by carelessly accepting friend requests or making their posts visible to everyone they can unwittingly provide all the information a would-be-thief could ask for with their social media posts.
This can cover everything from what high-value purchases they’ve made recently to the dates and times that they’re out off the house.
"Often on holidays we want to share the experiences with friends and family, posting photographs and status updates for the grandparents to see, but all we're doing is letting would be burglars know our movements," he says.
Hulme says other websites like Google Maps allow burglars to see photographs of all the individual houses on a street without ever having to show their faces, letting them gauge security and spot easy access points like side-entrances before arriving on the scene.
"A recent UK survey conducted on burglars showed four out of five of them said they had used social media," says Hulme.
"One of the criminals surveyed, said that we are “living in the age of the digital criminal" and people are taking advantage of social media to access information about would-be victims.
Hulme shares the social media behaviours to watch out for: