December is a leading month for crime and burglaries in the home. Packages ordered online and left on doorsteps are easily stolen during the day. Criminals are using social media to help them with locating where people live and what they might have to steal. Most of us like to post updates and pictures about our lives on social media. Using Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat has become a part of our lives and allows us to easily keep in touch with friends, family and acquaintances. This is all good, but can give thieves information they need to break into homes, steal valuables and Christmas gifts, or steal packages from our front door. During the holiday season it’s important to be extra careful to not overshare information on social media. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your home and valuables safe:
- Do not include your location in posts. Make sure the settings for permissions are set so that your posts are viewable only by “Friends” and not the public. If not, thieves can locate your address when you post from home. Do not add location tags or enable location services on social media.
- Do not post photos of expensive items even if they are just in the background. Thieves can use online tools to find items on your social media posts. Disable your cell phone from adding GPS location info to pictures.
- Do not have birthdate, hometown, and other personal information on social media. Post as little as possible about where you are and what valuables you may have at home. Limit photos of your home and belongings.
- Control the shipping process for packages if you have a choice. Always track your packages and know when it will arrive.
- Be on the lookout for strangers in your neighborhood and report anything suspicious to police. They will keep an extra eye on your neighborhood if people are reporting problems. Talk to your neighbors and work together to protect your homes.