The research is clear in that most burglaries occur in a very small radius from where the thief lives. Criminals do not target homes intentionally across town to throw off potential investigation. The goal of a thief is to find an easy target they can quickly exploit. If break-ins are common in your area, it’s likely a local criminal is actively determining which homes are easy targets.

Social Media has become an incredibly effective research tool for thieves. The two major ways they keep an eye out for homes to target are:

Broadcasting Vacation

A common mistake people have is taking photos in front of their home showcasing that they are heading out for vacation. Broadcasting you’re heading to Disneyland for a week or the Bahama’s for a summer vacation is an invitation for criminals to target your home. Criminals can use photos to easily identify your home and where it’s located, and they can confirm your vehicle is not on the premises.

Neighborhood Pages or Message Boards

Many people belong to local message boards on Facebook, such as a page specifically for your neighborhood. Anyone can join these boards, so there is no way to know who’s looking at your posts.

Telling other people about trips away or saying things like “Our annual trip to Cabo!” is an instant trigger that provides an indication of when you will be out of town, even if you’re not directly broadcasting you are going away.

Good Habits

Instead, the best habit you can put into place is to simply tell your neighbors when you will be out of town, along with a spare key in case they need to get into your home for any reason. Requesting that neighbors to take out and bring in garbage cans and collect mail also gives
Make sure doors and windows are locked, and if you haven’t already installed lighting with motion sensors, this would be a good time to make a relatively small investment to keep your home that much safer.