Social networking sites 'a threat to home security'

Social networking sites 'a threat to home security'

The importance of having burglar alarms installed may be greater for people who are keen users of social networking sites, it has been suggested.

Writing in the Sun, reformed burglar Richard Taylor, who is now a church minister, said "canny" thieves check sites such as Facebook and Twitter when sizing up which properties to target.

The home security of those who announce they are heading away for a trip and leaving their residences unattended is therefore compromised.

He remarked: "People put all kinds of information on Facebook, including their address and mobile number. A burglar just has to call your mobile and if there's an international ring tone they know you are away."

The 35-year-old father of four added: "These days everyone is Twitter-mad, I use it myself. But putting information that anyone can see on the internet leaves you vulnerable to a break-in."

In addition to burglar alarms, there are a number of other home security measures that can be adopted, Mr Taylor pointed out.

According to the minister, purchasing a safe can be a good idea.

In addition, having dog is an effective deterrent.

He stated: "A dog is great for putting off burglars ... I never burgled a house with a dog in it because there's a fear of what it might do."

The former criminal also noted that it is pointless hiding valuables in places such as bedroom drawers as such areas will be raided during break-ins. The same goes for wardrobes, kitchen cupboards and even fridges, he claimed.

As a general rule, security experts advise consumers not to post important personal information such as addresses and phone numbers on social networking sites.

Also, it is also not recommended for people to announce they are going on holiday if this means they are leaving their properties unattended.