Facebook is a great online social network, it’s revolutionised the way we’ve used the internet, and even our smartphones and other personal devices. Nearly everyone is trying to build Facebook into their hardware and software these days, and with good reason, over 500 million people are now part of the social network.
While Facebook can be used by many in total innocence, there is always other people out there who are wrongly taking advantage of the information being made available to them. Yes your friends may mindlessly scan through your pictures and status updates, but unfortunately there are others who will take not partake in this seamlessly benign activity.
After conducting some research, The Daily Mail has discovered that crimes involving Facebook have increased by 700% in the last 3 years alone. Undoubtedly this is also due to the increase in the number of users on Facebook, but it’s also because criminals are getting smarter and taking advantage of the information being made available to them.
The Daily Mail reported on a story where by a family was posting information to keep their relatives up to date on the status of their ill child, heartless thieves then took advantage of this information to rob their home twice.
Everyone was anxious to know how Kai was doing and it helped us to share what was happening day-by-day. We never dreamed for a minute that someone would read our messages, realise we weren’t at home and steal from us. It was utterly devastating.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered that over 100,000 incidents of crime were linked to Facebook in the last year, with 7,545 since January. In 2005, there were just 1,411.
Users need to be very careful about the information they share on Facebook, Michael Fraser, a reformed burglar who presents the BBC’s Beat The Burglar programme stated just how easy it is for burglars to take advantage of this information.
“One year, you might have a party and give out your address. A while later, you might tell everyone that it is your 30th birthday. So, if you’ve accepted me as a friend of a friend, I know your name, your address and your birth date.
“From that, I can go to 192.com and on there I can find out what you do for a living, how much your home is worth — and whether you’re likely to be worth burgling.
“I might have already made up my mind because you’ve posted party pictures on Facebook and I can see what kind of valuables you have in the house — and which rooms they’re in. Then you go and tell your Facebook friends how much you’re looking forward to going on holiday next Tuesday.
“I can go on to Google Street View and see actual photographs of your home. I can see if you have a burglar alarm, or whether there are any bushes in the garden to hide in. And I can see all the alleyways I can escape down. And, of course, I know you won’t be at home.”
So let that be a warning to you all, Facebook is great, but you must remember that there is always people out there looking to abuse the system