Home security and social media can be a dangerous mix. Today’s technology and the prevalence of apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have become extra tools for criminal and marketers alike. And whilst you wouldn’t normally put such platforms in the same category as home security, the list of safety tools have evolved into more than just dead bolts and security systems.
Social media is one powerful tool. We see how it drives business success, branding opportunities and networking possibilities. It’s also a platform of personal and corporate information that anybody can access. It doesn’t matter if you’re a social media enthusiast, a business owner, homeowner, occasional stalker or criminal, being careful with social media is vital. And knowing how it can put your property in danger is critical. Home security is a big deal. Here are a few social media do’s and don’t’s which can affect it to get you started:
Do: Be Known in Your Local Community
Before social media, there were safety house programs across local neighborhoods. Remember those bright yellow signs? Sure, there’s still a few around, but the program wound up officially in 2013. Whilst these signs represented houses that were safe to knock on in the event of an emergency, it gave neighbourhoods a sense of community. People had each other’s backs and there was a familiarity about each other. It made neighbourhoods more aware of who was living in their street, so potential burglars looming around were more likely to be noticed and reported. Nowadays, this is a lot rarer.
With social media though, you have a digital access to communities at the tip of your fingers. Facebook Pages, private events and groups that help bring neighborhoods together. A quick search will bring up local community Facebook groups – join the one most relevant to where you live. These groups are designed for individuals (not businesses) to access a sharing board of news and opinions. It also helps to familiarize yourself with your community, make yourself known and work together to keep each other safe.
Don’t: Globally Publish Your Travel Plans
We’re all guilty of it. 15 days left until you’re sipping on cocktails on paradise beach. Of course, you want to squeal with excitement and post updates to your friends and family. Posting excessive or overly personal information on social media is a huge no-no, but there can’t be that much harm in a few holiday snaps and excited countdowns, right? Wrong.
According to this Infographic, over 75% of convicted burglars believe that other criminals are using social media to find targets. With the rise of social media, comes easier access for thieves to find out personal information about homeowners and renters. What you have, where you live and how long you’re likely to be absent from the property. If you want to share all the juicy details of your travel plans, be diligent who you have on your friend’s list and how public and secure your profile really is.
Do: Utilize Social Media to Check Reviews before Engaging with Home Security Companies
Social media is one of the go-to sources for information – use it to secure your home in more ways than just locking up. If you’re getting a security upgrade, engaging with the right company for the job is essential. Facebook knows a lot about you, but it also knows a lot about local companies and communities too. Use this to your advantage!
Your home’s first line of defence is with secure fencing, quality locks, motion sensor lighting and a home security system. But if they need upgrading or you’ve moved into a new home that requires re-keying for security precautions, then use social media to check reviews.
Social media is fantastic for both satisfied and unsatisfied customers to vent. People like to have a say and to be heard – and social media is the place to do it. These platforms provide valuable and honest feedback which will ensure you’re dealing with only a quality service and not jeopardizing your home and family’s safety.
Social media has become a pretty personal place over the years. And with good reason too. It’s the perfect platform for swapping updates and connecting, especially for those living away from family and friends. It keeps us in touch through the digital loop of information. But there’s a fine line between what should and shouldn’t be shared on it.
As easy as it can be to forget, oversharing information on social media is a recipe for disaster – not just when it comes to your home security either. Sharing your phone number or address is an obvious one, but check-ins and photos of your home and valuables are often overlooked.
Geolocation is criminal’s best friend, and whilst it can be a fantastic feature for branding and businesses, you don’t want your home location on the net for everyone to see. Be vigilant and cautious about what you post to protect yourself, your family, your home, your reputation and your wallet. For private social media accounts, check security settings and keep privileged inside information. Limit your network for private-related posts and avoid sharing expensive new purchases for all the world to see.
Do: Keep Passwords Secure for Wireless Home Security
The Australian security industry was at a whopping $3.4 billion in 2013, with 16% being put into household security systems. More homeowners are investing in wireless home security and automated processes for protection and monitoring. These systems are some of the best ways to keep safe, but they need to be set up with secure passwords to be effective. Wi-Fi networks aren’t always secure, so take the proper precautions to make sure yours is.
3 Quick Social Media and Home Security Tips
Keeping things in check with your social media will benefit your home safety. Social networking has positively changed the way we do business and interact with friends and associates. While platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+, play an important role in our lives, they’re also high risk for security threats.
- Check (and double check privacy settings on social networks and photo sharing sites). Limit the personal and home related ones to friends and family.
- Turn off the GPS tracking function on your phone. This feature can be great for business and networking so it’s still valuable in the right context, but be smart about it. Map and direction apps should be the only location data that are permanently switched on, and you can alter the settings for social media as you go along.
- Burglars do have the means to cross reference your social media profiles for information. Keep them all protected for the best home security precautions.
Author: Jayde Ferguson writes for Lock, Stock & Farrell – Perth’s award-winning locksmith, who for 20 years has had a strong commitment to providing excellent home, commercial, car and emergency security services. You can catch her on Google+.