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Social media is an integral part of 21st-century life. Scroll through Facebook, Insta, Twitter, or a myriad of other platforms and they’re strewn with the antics of friends, celebs, influencers, and more. Sadly, this is something that criminals are well aware of and are increasingly using to their benefit. 

Your social media habits might seem like a fun past time—until your home gets broken into, that is…

The following are some of the common ways that the shadowy element of society is mining your online activities to determine if your home is an easy target.

  1. Posting when you’re on vacation

The most obvious, and one that many people are now aware of. While it’s great to show everyone back home that you’re having a great time in Aruba, or that you’re traveling out of state, you’re also advertising that you’re not at home. If you post a countdown to your trip you’re even allowing criminals to put the date in their diary. Even if you think you’re only sharing with “friends” this isn’t an effective strategy. Hacking is commonplace, as is the friend of yours who innocently allows others to view their timeline.

  1. Location-based apps

Any app that logs where you go, how often, and shares this info with others puts you at risk of providing a map of your habits and whereabouts to burglars. If you do use these (think Foursquare or similar) be sure to keep your privacy settings at the most stringent available.

  1. Geotagging

This scary aspect of social media is one that many people are unaware of. When you post on a site, such as Twitter or Facebook, from your smart device, geotags are shared along with your posts and photos. These are super-accurate location tags that contain longitude and latitude info so precise it can show the exact room of the house you’re in, where in the office building you are, or the very spot in the car park where you’re sitting.

While many smartphones and social media sites enable geotagging by default it is, thankfully, it’s possible to turn it off. Check out your particular device to find out how to do this.

Of course, no-one’s suggesting that you ban the use of social media. But it’s necessary to become savvy as to how you use it. In addition, ensuring that your home is well secured is also vital, and is best done through the use of a respected security company, such as Fast Guard Service.

Entrusting the safety of your home to the experts at Fast Guard allows you to take advantage of the very latest in technology to protect your property. Their professional security services encompass every aspect of home safety, including alarms, CCTV, and home monitoring. They also share tips via their blog, a good place to visit regularly to keep up to date on the latest in home and commercial security news.