Vacation and Home Security;
Well it’s that time of year again, when we are outside the home traveling and enjoying our time away at the beach, campsite, or cabin at the lake. Unfortunately this is also the time of year when thieves have heightened their antenna looking for targeted homes to prey upon for break and enters.
Most of us have taken the time to apply the four primary stages of home security to “target harden” our homes which includes:
- Locking all doors and windows with good heavy duty after market locking mechanisms,
- Alarming your residence with a reputable alarm monitoring service
- Lighting up the exterior of your property at night, and
- Making your home look like it is occupied by turning on/off radios, lights and televisions with the use of timers while out
Remember the goal of target hardening our homes, is to send an overt message that given our applied security measures, the risks to a potential burglar of being seen, heard, and caught is too great thus causing them to pick an easier target.
The Goal Posts Have Changed:
In the past, the criminal element would usually conduct what they call “Pen Testing” (penetration testing via knocking on the door or making a phone call into the residence) to ascertain if the residence was vacant of the home owner. If someone was home during these pen tests, then the risks of being seen, heard, or caught went up dramatically, so why take the risk of breaking into an occupied home. Given the popularity of the Internet however, the criminal element is now turning to the use of Social Networking to help reduce these risks, thus making their job easier and more profitable.
Social Networks such as Facebook and Twitter are not only favorites to those of us who are law abiding citizens, BUT the criminal element is now also turning to Social Networking to help them identify homes that they will target for break and enters:
Given the disinhibition effect of social media, and the need for users to post too much information about their daily lives, the criminal element is now surfing places like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other Social Networks looking for those who are announcing or posting that they will be away on holidays or even out for a few hours. A great site that really highlights the dangers of To Much Information (TMI) specific to break and enters is:
So while you are out for dinner, at the movie, at the beach, spending time at the campsite or even relaxing in your holiday cabin up at the lake, be very careful about announcing “publicly” in a Social Network your absence from your primary residence; by doing so you have increased the risks of your home being targeted for a break and enter.
The Urban Sheepdog
PS: For those who are interested in how to further secure your home, apartment, condo, or vehicle you may want to purchase our book “Total Awareness” located at: