Facebook status updates are 'burglary risk'

By Liz Roberts
BBC Midlands Today

image captionMrs Bateman said she thought posting detailed status updates on Facebook was dangerous

Detailed Facebook status updates could increase the risk of people's homes being burgled, West Midlands Police has warned.

The force said anyone who shared details about their whereabouts could tip off thieves.

Teresa Bateman said she was burgled twice in the summer and believed it was linked to her sons' Facebook updates.

Facebook said the risk of sharing information was no greater online than via any other form of communication.


Mrs Bateman, who lives near Solihull, said: "We were going to buy a new dog from Kent, a puppy for the children, and when we came home we found that we had been burgled.

"But prior to that the children had actually put on their Facebook pages what they were doing because they were all excited and that they wouldn't be here for the day.

"I think Facebook is dangerous. I think everybody should be made aware of the consequences that can happen by posting too much information on Facebook about what you are going to be doing and where you are going to be."

Sgt Andy Gregory said the amount of information people shared about their lives on social networking sites was a real cause for concern.

Privacy settings

He said by sharing information with friends online, people could unwittingly also be giving strangers information about their whereabouts, if they were indiscriminate about accepting friend requests.

"The issue for us is that they need to ensure that their profiles are locked down, so only your trusted friends and family have information about your personal movements."

In a statement Facebook said the risks of sharing information online carried the same risks as sharing information with people in a face-to-face conversation, phone call or e-mail.

"What it means is that both online and offline, we all need to control who we're friends with and what information we share," a spokesman said.

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