• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'

TT/The Local/at · 16 Apr 2014, 10:03

Published: 16 Apr 2014 10:03 GMT+02:00

Scientists at Blekinge Technical College (Blekinge tekniska högskola - BTH) used reported crime data provided by south Sweden police to analyze burglary patterns.

In some cases, they even helped the police solve burglaries because a known thief had a very specific modus operandi, although researcher Martin Boldt said he did not have the exact number of crime-busting data analyses at hand.

Some of the findings were old news. Houses at the end of a street and houses with gardens backing onto a forest were more at risk. A family that had an alarm system visible, however, was less likely to be burgled. Having a dog also helped cut the risk.

Among the 120 factors used to analyze burglary trends, one was dubbed simply "The Facebook Box". Had the victim talked about going away on the their social media accounts?

"I don't want to say there is no risk, as it's always a bad idea to write online that you're going away, but the risk was insignificant, or very small," said Boldt, who himself will happily post pictures or update his status while on holiday.

"But only after Facebook made privacy settings easier to manage a few years back," he told The Local. 

The researchers did not only look at Facebook, but other social media, blogs and chat forums. While there were a few cases of reported social media activity and a house being emptied, they were few and far between.

Boldt, however, pointed out that the police may not yet have gotten into the routine of asking the victim about social media behaviour.

"Or the police interview a parent, who has no idea that their kid has talked about the vacation online," Boldt said. 

The risks of announcing your absence online has been a topic of debate ever since social media took off, but Boldt said that real life situations could still pose a more concrete risk. 

"Listen, as a burglar, you cruise up and down the street Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then on Thursday you hit up the house that's obviously empty," he said. "Thieves are lazy, they go for the easiest options, like peering into your mail box to see if the post has piled up." 

Story continues below…

And rather than that longed-for trip to Thailand, it could be quite mundane weekend fun like going to Ikea that puts a family at risk, he said. 

"If they see the entire Svensson family traipse out of a car at the mall - mum, dad, three kids - they know no one is home," he said, also mentioning ferries, the Öresundsbron bridge, and other places with a lot of people in motion as places where organized gangs of thieves could be looking up a car plate and to which address it is registered.

"It doesn't cost a lot of kronor to look up a registration number, so you'll feed several into the data base until you find a house which is nearby and in a good spot," he told The Local.

TT/The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
Five reasons why Malmö is Sweden's happiest city
Malmö in southern Sweden. Photo: Werner Nystrand/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

Five reasons why Malmö is Sweden's happiest city
8 hours ago

Malmö is Europe's seventh happiest city, according to a new survey. The Local takes a closer look at five possible reasons why.

Refugee crisis
Polish far-right linked to Sweden 'migrant attack plot'
Nynäshamn south of Stockholm, where the arrests took place. Photo: Wikicommons/Pewee

Polish far-right linked to Sweden 'migrant attack plot'
8 hours ago

UPDATED: Police have linked three men arrested on suspicion of planning an attack at refugee housing in a rural town near Stockholm to a vigilante protest in the Swedish capital last month.

Julian Assange
Will Swedish prosecutors question Assange in London?
Julian Assange at Ecuador's London embassy. Photo: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Will Swedish prosecutors question Assange in London?
8 hours ago

UPDATED: Julian Assange's lawyer has said he "cannot answer today" if the Wikileaks founder will agree to let Swedish prosecutors interrogate him at Ecuador's embassy.

Terror fears secure profit for Sweden's Securitas
Police at Stockholm central station after Sweden raised its terror threat alert. Photo: Yvonne Åsell/SvD/TT

Terror fears secure profit for Sweden's Securitas
11 hours ago

Europe's leading security firm has reported rising profits on the back of several terror scares in the region.

Julian Assange
Timeline: Julian Assange rape case
Julian Assange following a court hearing in 2010. Photo: TT

Timeline: Julian Assange rape case
13 hours ago

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden where he is facing a rape allegation, which he denies. The Local looks at the key points in his case so far.

The Local List
Ten unique words you need to date in Sweden
Swedes sharing a winter waffle. Photo: Ulf Lundin/Image Bank Sweden

Ten unique words you need to date in Sweden
14 hours ago

Single? Learn these words before Valentine's Day.

Boss of Sweden's biggest bank gets fired
Swedbank's headquarters in Sundbyberg, Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Boss of Sweden's biggest bank gets fired
14 hours ago

UPDATED: Michael Wolf, the President and CEO of the biggest bank in Sweden and the Baltics has made a swift exit.

Refugee crisis
One percent of Swedish crimes linked to refugees
Border police at Hyllie station in Malmö last month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

One percent of Swedish crimes linked to refugees
15 hours ago

"It means that 99 percent of what the police do cannot be linked to new arrivals," said one expert.

Opinion
'Look closer at the facts on Swedish sex attacks'
Young women with foreign backgrounds in Stockholm in 2015. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

'Look closer at the facts on Swedish sex attacks'
18 hours ago

Swedish media reporting on sex crimes have steered clear of the real facts, argues women, peace and security lecturer Martina Lindberg.

 Can this cyber Swede save the internet?
Göran Marby will move to Los Angeles for his new job. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Can this cyber Swede save the internet?
19 hours ago

Sweden's Göran Marby is the new cyber security expert put in charge of implementing worldwide internet rules.

Sponsored Article
How to set up shop in the 'Silicon Valley of Sweden'
Features
Single? Here are the ten Swedish words you have to learn
Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Lindesberg, Örebro
Lifestyle
VIDEO: What's the fuss about Sweden's semla bun?
Blog updates

5 February

Editor’s blog, February 5th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, A friend of mine wrote from abroad this week to ask me if international media…" READ »

 

4 February

City Runs (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Since moving to Stockholm I’ve been blessed to live next to the Djurgarden, and to be…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Swiss hospitality: The ladder to your international career
Culture
Ten fab Swedish hits for February
Sponsored Article
Ice magic at north Sweden island lodges
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: February 6th-7th
Travel
Stockholm's eight REAL no-go zones
Gallery
People-watching: February 3rd
Sponsored Article
Just landed? Here's the secret to finding work in Stockholm
National
'How confronting the man who robbed me gave me closure'
Sponsored Article
Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget
Analysis & Opinion
DEBATE: Why are Swedes so obsessed with Nordic skiing?
Culture
See which Swedish museums are now opening up for free
Sponsored Article
Luleå: 8 winter must-dos in Sweden's far north
Gallery
Property of the week: Insjön, Nacka
National
VIDEO: Tensions caught on camera inside Swedish asylum home
Gallery
People-Watching: January 29th - 31st
International
How will Sweden deport up to 80,000 failed asylum seekers?
Sport
When you gotta go... Swedish racing dog does poo and then takes gold
Sport
Guess who just got a HUGE pay rise?
Travel
WATCH: Five top tips for safe ice skating on Sweden's gorgeous lakes
Gallery
People-watching: January 27th
National
'Sweden could be at war within years'
Gallery
Property of the week: Öjersbo, Kungsbacka
International
Why is the Pope coming to Sweden?
Travel
Ten must-see Stockholm museums
National
He created Sweden's huge snow penis
3,415
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se