The trash on your curb may be helping holiday crooks -- here's h - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

The trash on your curb may be helping holiday crooks -- here's how

Source: WOIO Source: WOIO
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

Though Christmas is over, security experts say the possibility of falling victim to a holiday crime has only just begun.

Tim Dimoff is a nationally recognized security expert. He said, in his opinion, thieves have more tools now than they ever did before. Dimoff said that while thieves still use tried and true real word tactics, he believes social media has the potential to help criminals even more.

“With social media can redefine that target and they can say this person’s bragging about a (big television), they can almost customize what they're going after,” said Dimoff.

He said a simple status update, letting your friends know you’re out of town for a week, could be just what a thief is looking for.

“Basically you're telling them, ‘Here's where I am, here's where I'm not going to be, how long -- oh, and by the way I'll just leave everything conveniently sitting on the floor in the corner by the Christmas tree,’” said Dimoff.

He said the best advice is to keep the details of your holidays confidential, and make sure everyone -- including kids -- do too.

Dimoff said on top of the digital dangers, people still have to think about the real world potential for problems. Boxes that contained high priced electronics shouldn’t be just left on the street, but rather broken down or even cut up so they aren’t an advertisement for a criminal.

“Criminals can drive up and down the street and mark your house -- (which) seemed to have gotten a lot of electronics versus toys,” said Dimoff. “They see electronics, and TV boxes, and appliances once again you're sending them a message of how to narrow downtown that funnel.”

He said people going out of town should think about putting lights and televisions on timers and maybe even investing in surveillance cameras. A big thing is just to make the house look lived in. Dimoff recommended hiring someone to shovel the snow and asking a friendly neighbor pick up the mail.

Dimoff said criminals go after opportunity, and the stronger the opportunity, the greater chance of becoming a victim.

“You know, it's a sad fact you do have to worry about it more but you have to worry about it more for one reason -- there's just a whole lot more avenues with social networks, especially, that really reveals a lot more about how we are, where we are, what we have in our homes. It's because of that we have to use stronger tactics to protect what's in our homes," he said.

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