Every six months or so, a social media meme does the rounds with a headline, ‘’Rich Kids Busted on Social Media!’’.
There are regular news reports also, every two years or so, as the Guardian in 2016.
Forensic accountants are also aware of the value of social media for tracking hidden assets, as shown in this article by J. Richard Claywell, CPA and law enforcement is increasingly using and monitoring social media for the prevention and detection of crime.
Law abiding citizens and corporations should take note – according to one alarm and home security company, 78% of burglars use social media to target properties.
It is fun to post pictures or share vacation plans online but does that apparently innocent post or picture reveal things like these?
- The layout of your property
- Where you might keep valuables
- What electronics or other property might be attractive to a thief
- Possible weaknesses in home security
- Vacation plans or business trip schedules when your home might be empty
- Location, or even make and model, of alarm panels or other security systems
- Smart, Internet-of-things devices that may be vulnerable to exploitation (a hackable door entry system maybe?)
As with any online activity, stop and think about the exact audience you’re sharing with. Do not share something publicly you would not be happy to tell or give to a stranger on the street.