Experts say controlling access to personal information once posted on the net, is difficult to impossible. Thieves are using social media to spot potential targets

Beware posting vacation plans, absences, on social media


A family in the city of Kamloops  in the interior of the weat coast province of British Columbia has learned an expensive social media lesson.

Kamloops, a city of about 85,000 is a three-and-a-half hour drive from the major port city of Vancouver.

Gina Taylor posted a note on Facebook last Friday afternoon to say the family was going to Vancouver to watch the Canucks hockey team play on Saturday evening.

Saturday afternoon, someone broke into the home and cleaned out the house.  They even found keys to a second car, loaded computers,TVs, even clothes and groceries into the car and drove away.

Neighbours saw the loading but thought the family was moving out.

Taylor now thinks her posting on Facebook let the thieves know the house would be empty. She’s advising others to be wary of online posting.

The loss is estimated at about $20,000 and the family had no insurance.

David Walsh is the chief executive of Netwatch, a security monitoring service that recently expanded across the Atlantic from the UK to the U.S

Speaking to the International Business times, he issued a warning to property owners earlier this summer, saying that there had been a growing number of offline incidents resulting from information posted online. “Social networks have become part of our daily lives, but people need to consider the risks of posting their location on these sites. Facebook burglaries are real and growing.”

Experts also say simply checking in to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or other sites to advise your friends that you’re out at a particular bar, or show, or party is also telling burglars you’re not at home.

For the same reason the security advisors also suggest not posting vacation photos until after you’re back home, noting that even the so-called “private page” feature is not secure and friends can repost info on their sites or tweet about your activities and whereabouts.

There have also been many news stories where social media notices about house parties have led to crowds of uninvited showing up, often causing damage and sometimes violence.


Categories: Internet, Science and Technology, Society

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One comment on “Beware posting vacation plans, absences, on social media
  1. Avatar Michel says:

    Social Media are great to exchange information and keep in touch with the people we care about. The danger, very illustrated in the article, is that people do not think about the risks associated with the information that published available to everyone.