Facebook and Twitter helping home burglars

THERE are growing links between social media networks like Facebook and Twitter and burglars. What might seem like innocent contact through your mobile phone, or other device could be putting you and your property at grave risk.

THERE are growing links between social media networks like Facebook and Twitter and burglars. What might seem like innocent contact through your mobile phone, or other device could be putting you and your property at grave risk.

There is growing evidence that cyber crime has arrived in Kilkenny and it looks like getting worse. One of the country’s top security experts has said that more and more homes are being successfully targeted in this way.

It gets worse. Google Earth live, monitors your home, and this is especially so in large urban areas like Kilkenny city and would-be thieves can see, to within a few minutes, exactly when your home is empty - All by simply looking up the internet..

And the robbers have a new tool. A survey analysed on the first page of section two of this paper highlights the divide between rich and poor in Kilkenny. Gangs can now see exactly which housing estate in the city and county is the wealthiest with Aylsebury in the Sycamores and little estates a around St Luke’s hospital, Kilkenny the most affluent.

“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 in popularity,” David Walsh CEO of the Netwatch group of companies has warned.

“Facebook and other social networking sites have unwittingly made it easier than ever to access homeowners’ personal information in Kilkenny and Carlow,” the CEO of Netwatch Group, Mr David Walsh said.

“The location services on social networking sites allow people to share their location in real time. You may think that checking in at the airport is a nice way to let your friends and family know that you’re going on holiday, but in reality you are also letting people know that your home is empty and an easy target.

“Even if you’re profile is set to private people often have hundreds, if not thousands of friends and followers on Facebook or Twitter, some of whom they don’t know that well. These so called “friends” can access a huge amount of personal data from your profile, including your home address,” Mr Walsh warned,

According to Mr Walsh, teenagers are particularly likely to share their locations and movements on social networks. “Teenagers today have grown up with Facebook

tracking their every move and see nothing dangerous in planning their parties and movements online. But the consequences of this can be devastating. For example, last weekend a house was ransacked after a teenager’s private party became public knowledge on Facebook. This is a clear example of parents not monitoring their children’s social networking behaviour. Parents need to educate their children on the risk of posting locations online.”

“At Netwatch we see many types of crime and burglaries and the impact it can have on its victims. We are urging all homeowners to be extremely careful with the type of information they share online. If you want to share your holiday plans, don’t do it in real time, wait until you are safely home. Review the privacy setting

on all of your social networks, try to minimize your use of location services and never share your home address on social networks,” added Walsh. The Netwatch system deploys the most advanced video processing technologies to alert and are specialists Communication Hub to unacceptable behaviour on a clients’ property live personalised audio warnings are issued to intruders, preventing criminal activity. Based in Carlow it employs 130 people.