Editor’s note: Previously on this blog we posted and infographic titled “How burglars use social media”. On the heels of that posting came this infographic as a result of research done in The Netherlands suggesting just the opposite.

‘Don’t advertise that you are away. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a risk if people know you are away and your home is empty’. This is a frequently repeated message. Taking precautions is reasonable but why make such a fuss about it when there is none scientific proof that burglars do use social media?

This research makes clear that it appears to be quite difficult to use social media in regard to finding a suitable home/target for burglars. The research states that 77% of the social media-users protects their online information. Because of all the well protected information, burglars find it difficult to find useful information and even more so to use this information to actually steal something. In addition, an experiment in which two groups of cops (in training) were playing the part of burglars, makes clear that compared to the ‘old fashioned way’ (scouring the streets), social media is not lucrative. The ‘burglars’ in the control group were asked to find as many suitable targets in the streets. The ‘burglars’ in the experimental group were asked to find as many suitable targets while using social media. It appears that searching through or with social media is quite difficult and above all extremely time consuming. This makes the control group – and the old fashioned method, more profitable. Moreover, a burglar has to check the house once more before actually entering the house.

After all: the best way to enter the house is not updated on social media and has to be observed while standing in front of the house. The following infographic – made by Renée Penris – demonstrates the other conclusions following this research.

Linda Nagelhout just completed her MsC in Criminology at De Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her final thesis was about Burglary & Social Media. This infographic is the result of her research. @Lindo1509