Ways Burglars Use Social Media to Target Your Home

Ways Burglars Use Social Media to Target Your Home


We live in the age of information sharing, much of which is facilitated through popular social media outlets (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and FourSquare). While social media plays a positive role in terms of forging connections and bringing individuals together, it also gives criminals easier access to highly personal information, such as where you live, when you are home, if you are going on vacation, and any new possessions you may have purchased. Through this type of “digital stalking,” burglars can determine when your house and possessions are most vulnerable.



  • Location data: in many cases, social media platforms tag posts or photos with location co-ordinates, effectively broadcasting where you live and when you are away from your house. On average, burglars prefer to complete the robbery within 10 minutes; however, if they know you are going to be away from your property for an extended period of time, they may stay longer and steal goods of higher value.
  • Advanced searches on Facebook and Twitter can be modified to zero in on people who are leaving the country, such as those checking into airport lounges on Foursquare.
  • Google Street View: one of the primary tools of modern-day burglars, google street view allows criminals to case out potential targets with complete anonymity
  • Facebook’s “open graph” search allows burglars to search for users with open profiles (meaning very weak or absent privacy settings)


There are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of digital stalking:

  • Do not share your address on social media
  • Check your privacy settings to be sure that you are not automatically sharing location information on any social media platforms or photo sharing applications
  • Limit post sharing to ‘friends’, as opposed to ‘public’ or ‘friends of friends’
  • Try to refrain from announcing vacations, business trips, or any upcoming travel plans. Share photos when you return, not during your trip


By taking the aforementioned precautions, you can decrease your risk of becoming a target for burglars; however, sometimes the best deterrent is making your home look too risky to attempt to rob. Motion sensitive outdoor lighting, lights set on timers in the evening, having a neighbor collect your mail while you are away—all of these simple steps can be off-putting for potential burglars. However, the biggest deterrent in an empty home is the presence of a visible security system. According to the Electronic Security Association, 9 out of 10 burglars avoid homes with alarm systems, and would not attack a home with a home security system in place.


Desert Alarm is a local home alarm company that has provided cutting edge security services for our neighbors here in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Palm Desert) for over 24 years. We have served over 17,000 local customers, and take pride in giving our clients the peace of mind that comes from knowing their family, home, and property are safe. Contact Desert Alarm today by Clicking Here or Calling 760-322-1562 or 800-726-1779.