Vacation coming? Protect your home while you’re away so you can really relax and enjoy yourself. This requires addressing both physical and cyber protection challenges. Naturally, burglars in New England want to get the easiest targets possible, as the Ashland, Massachusetts, police point out. They know where to go to find them: social media.
Once, crooks would look for obituaries to target houses, knowing when the residents would be out at a funeral. Now, convicted burglars themselves believe that 75 percent of their thieving colleagues are leveraging social media to locate marks, according to a Virginia-based law enforcement website.
Social media targets the spot
Last year, New Haven, Connecticut, based News8 reported on a thief who harvested his targets from their social media posts. This man would identify families on vacation or extended stays away from their homes — then he’d get the address via the internet, survey the property, and strike.
Police arrested him after he’d burglarized and vandalized a Guilford, Connecticut, home so severely the residence was left “uninhabitable.” The total price tag incurred from damage and theft was about $300,000, which included a stolen car.
To avoid making it too easy for thieves to rob your home when you’re away, experts suggest the following:
- Don’t post your vacation photos on social media until you’ve returned home from your trip, says the North Reading, Massachusetts police department
- Take care not to let your mail pile up in the mailbox or doorstep, as that is a giveaway that nobody is home. You can ask your neighbors to collect it for you or follow these steps from USA Today to stop mail delivery while you’re away.
- Thoroughly secure windows, doors, and so on — using the strongest locks and other security mechanisms available
- Temporarily remove or secure window air conditioning units from the inside so they can’t give thieves an easy entrance (this video can show you how)
- Consider adding burglar alarms and video surveillance solutions — and to take an extra step, add 24×7 security monitoring with professionals
With that, enjoy your summer vacation in peace, knowing your house and property will be in the same shape as when you left it.
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