Social media is internet shopping for burglars

Coupled with the finding that an alarmingly high proportion of users are prepared to be "friends" online with people they don’t really know, this presents a serious risk to the security of people’s home and contents.

Fraser, star of the BBC’s Beat The Burglar series, said: "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that burglars are using social networks to develop relationships with people to identify likely targets. They gain confidence by learning more about them, what they are likely to own and when they are likely to be out of the house, and then target appropriate victims.

"I call it ‘internet shopping for burglars’. It is incredibly easy to use social networking sites to target people, and then scope out more information on their actual home using other internet sites like Google Street View, all from the comfort of the sofa. It scares me to see how many people are prepared to give away valuable information about themselves, to people they simply don’t know well enough – if at all."

Garry Skelton, Marketing Director of Legal & General’s general insurance business, said: "People need to be very wary about sharing information that could put them or their homes at risk, particularly if this is with people that they don’t really know.

"Always be aware that a lot of the time, talking on a social media site, such as Facebook, is like talking out loud in the street or down the pub: you are never completely sure who might be listening in."

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