What Your Home Security Site Surveyors Should Say About Social Media
by Jo Shaer, on January 22, 2019
A potential customer contacted you to ask for a free home security survey. You've visited the property and been given a guided tour.
You've handed out lots of helpful tips on home security.
You will do everything you can to design a system to keep the family safe:
- protect the vulnerable areas;
- plan where the sensors should go to get the best coverage; and
- work out where to site the cameras so there are no blind spots.
But you know that the thing that can make a home most vulnerable to a burglar is beyond your security equipment.You cannot control the ONLINE behaviour of the family, particularly its youngsters.
But at least you can make the parents aware.
Teenagers' phones are continually in their hands on a variety of social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. They tap away or photograph anything that is of interest.
And they use the camera option even more often when there is a new purchase for the home - a laptop, a big TV, some jewellery, the latest gizmo.
OR when you go on holiday. They cannot wait to get off the beach before sharing their latest pouting selfie.
Ever heard of the term "Facebragging"?
Some say it does no harm and is helping to portray a more positive picture of that person's life.
But, for burglars, it can be very interesting information, especially if they also know when your home is empty.
It's the ideal time for them to take a look.
"They are putting their homes seriously at risk because burglars can see from their profile what they have purchased recently, what possessions they have in their home, and when they will next be out of the house in order to pay their home a timely visit."
The Mutual Friends Problem
If John is friends with Mary and Mary is also friends with Omar, then it is more likely that John will accept a friend request from Omar too.
It's called the Triadic Closure Principle.
Back to Michael Fraser again, who warns:
“While people are becoming savvier about privacy settings on social networks, they can also develop a false sense of security with their online connections, wrongly believing they can trust all those so-called ‘friends’.
By turning a blind eye, people can unwittingly expose a wealth of personal information – a real goldmine for burglars. Digital criminals know how to spot easy targets - for example, someone with over 500 friends on Facebook is very unlikely to know all those people personally and will therefore be much more likely to accept a stranger’s friend request.
By befriending a number of the target user’s other friends beforehand, the victim is even more likely to accept the fake friend, inadvertently giving the burglar access to all their personal information."
So, digital criminals create fake personal profiles who look exciting and they start befriending people with the prime objective of zoning in on a vulnerable victim.
This technique has been seen a lot in online gaming. No matter how careful a parent is, there is always the chance that the friend of a friend will be allowed to join the game.
5 practical steps to improve your home's 'social security'
Here are 5 things that you can tell your potential customer to limit the social media risks to their home security. They will thank you for it.
- Set your Facebook privacy settings to allow only your friends to see your content.
- Only accept friend requests from people you actually know.
- Don't announce that you will be out of town for the weekend or on your annual holiday or post photos which show that you are not at home.
- Don't post photos that give away your address or landmarks near your home.
- Avoid posting photos of expensive items in your home.
- Tell your kids all of the above!
Getting a new Fire & Security customer is all about building trust in your experience and expertise. Stand out from the competition. Show that you understand the dangers of modern social media and explain some simple safety rules.