A majority of burglars in Britain use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter to target their victims, a survey has revealed
As many users post updates on social networking sites, thieves not only get information about recent high-value purchases, but also the dates and times when they are out.
Other websites, such as Google Street View, show photographs of individual houses from which the would-be burglars can gauge security and ease of access by looking for alarms and side entrances, the Telegraph reports.
The study was based on the answers of offenders who were convicted of burglary this year.
Four out of five of the criminals said burglars were using social media websites. But they also said that a simple home alarm would have deterred them from targeting the property in the first place.
One of the convicted burglars interviewed said that 'people are now taking advantage of social media to access information about would-be victims.'
"We're living in the age of the digital criminal and people are taking advantage of social media to access information about would-be victims," Taylor said.
"We'll tell them even when we're going away on holidays. We will let them know that we're not in. We're inviting them round to our house," he added.
The survey also revealed that a thief steals an average of 487 pounds from a home on a single visit.