04 Feb NIX THE SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN TRAVELING
In October 2018, LA police named four suspects in a burglar operation targeting celebs’ homes. At first the burglaries appeared to be random, but then police arrested three teens and a 34-year-old mother of one of the teens, recovering numerous items taken from the celebrities’ homes. Investigators concluded that what seemed like a string of random burglaries targeting celebrities is part of a gang operation in which suspects picked the homes based on social media postings and celebrities’ travel schedules.
Recent high profile burglary victims include David Spade, Christina Milian, Yasiel Puig, Derek Fisher, Byron Scott, Alanais Morissette, Nicki Minag, Emmy Rossum, Jamie Pressly, and Rihanna, according to abcnews.go.com.
It’s not just a problem for celebs, but regular people too, according to a survey by Assurant, agent for property-casualty insurance coverage. The survey of 1,000 renters showed that 40% of renters posted travel snaps while out of town announcing their homes were unoccupied with their stuff in the homes.
Shortly after Kim Kardashian posted her $4.49M ring on Instagram in December 2017, thieves located her Paris apartment and robbed her of the ring and other jewelry. Realtor.com reports that police have warned Kim’s baby sis Kylie to stop posting her GPS coordinates on Snapchat because her whereabouts can be tracked by anyone. (I could tell you where she lives if I ask my nephew who drives for a food delivery service, but I won’t.)
Twitter gives users the option to post their exact location when hitting the location icon when sending a tweet. The tweeter’s exact GPS coordinates are shared. While that’s helpful if you’ve driven your car off a road into a jungle and want to be saved, it makes you vulnerable otherwise.
When you tweet from home, pressing the location icon, anyone who receives your tweets knows your precise location. If you insist on tweeting your vacation adventures, recipients (including burglar-types) will know you’re out of town and they will already have your exact address of your home where you’ve undoubtedly left your valuables thinking they are safe.
Limit your permissions so that your posts are viewable only by confirmed “friends” vs. the public. Do not add location tags. Do not enable location services for other websites or social media. While Facebook, Instagram and Twitter strip out location data from photos, sites like Tumblr do not.
Keep your personal information—birthdate, hometown, and other details—off social media profiles. Even personal info that’s supposed to be viewable only by confirmed friends is at risk.
All in all, be less Kardashian. (You know what we mean by that.)
A burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the United States, just about as long as it takes to read this sentence.
If you want to minimize the opportunity for a burglar to hit your home, Blog.rismedia.com, online news for the real estate community, recommends:
Professional criminals scout all forms of social media to know your whereabouts before breaking into your home. Do not post when you’ll be at home or away from home.
Homes with alarms marked with alarm warning signs are 300 less likely to be burglarized than a home without.
Make it look like you’re at home when you’re not by using motion sensor lights or timed lights.
Lock up your guns. A gun is stolen roughly every two minutes in the U.S. Burglars are looking for guns.
Eliminate trees and shrubs that block the view of your doors and windows. Plant Pyracantha (thorny evergreen shrubs), cactus, roses, mountain thistle, and Hawthorne trees around the perimeter of your home. All these plants have thorns, to deter burglars and peeping toms.
Don’t leave your house keys on a key hook by the door. Don’t leave your car keys in your car when parked in the garage or on the driveway.
Put away your valuables—out of sight.
Burglary isn’t just a U.S. problem. It’s worldwide. Bark.com, a UK-based listings website for service professionals, reports a 42 % increase in the demand for home security services.
Protect yourself. Start by calling Denvers Locksmiths Alexius Security at (303) 974-0215 to install deadbolts at your home.