Home security: thieves may know where you are

September 19, 2014 6:37 am

Autumn is approaching, and as the temperature starts to drop we’re far less likely to leave windows and doors open. So I was surprised to read that our homes are actually more vulnerable to break ins at this time of year – and the precautions we need to take are changing.

Recent data released by insurer Aviva shows that household thefts rise by five per cent after the clocks go back in October, while November is the worst month of the year for break-ins. But apparently these days it’s not enough to use traditional methods to deterring burglars such as ensuring doors and windows are locked. We’ve written before that you should be careful over what you write on social media, but today’s technology means you need to do more than that.

In particular, we need to think carefully about GPS tracking on our smart devices. Potential burglars can see our whereabouts on social media websites – a dead giveaway that there’s no-one at home. So Aviva has advised turning GPS tracking off when you’re away from home, as well as being careful about sharing photos and details of any trips.

There are some smartphone apps which track your personal movements – the ones cited by Aviva are Find My Friends, Life360 and Foursquare. I don’t personally use these but there’s a warning that they can be hacked by cyber criminals who can then see clearly that you’re not at home.

Modern technology is great – but it comes with some big drawbacks.