SHOULD EVERYONE KNOW THAT YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR HOUSE?

  • In December 2017, multiple houses in the city of Thane, were broken into. Cash, gold and other valuables worth more than Rs. 4 lakhs were reported stolen.

  • Thefts made with the similar modus operandi, were earlier reported in Ambernath.

  • The accused would reportedly break into houses where residents had gone on holiday based on information they gleaned from social networking sites, after sending friend requests and tracking the person’s activities through it.

We as Indians love to talk. We talk on the phone, we talk on the internet, we talk with our relatives, friends, and at times total strangers. We are gregarious, hospitable and warm at heart as known by our behaviours. We are emotional people and use every medium of communication to express our feelings.

Social media is one waterhole we use every waking moment of our life to express our excitement, happiness, sorrows and disappointments. It also is a great watering hole for opportunists who are waiting to take what is yours!!!

Accepting friend requests is one such trend which creates a huge loophole in our stressed-out-for -time-no-social-life-existence. Most of our young people who want to be known amongst peers use social media networking to become popular in the cyber realm. This trend has also caught up with the older generation who are still catching up with the new technologies of the internet and smart phone communications.

We see a face on the profile picture on a social networking site, and we use our basic human judgement which generally is at the first glance” Wow, he is good-looking, Wow, she is beautiful, Wow, he is young, Wow, she is pretty!!!” When our basic instincts and perceptions about beauty and masculinity approve of the face, the rest of the information which is given below is generally ignored by our brain as we subconsciously race to make that person our friend. Once that so-called person is connected to you, it takes hardly a few days or weeks to get to know the intimate day-to day activities which go on in your life to him or her. Plus, with the exuberance of showing how are lives are exciting and happening we tend to incessantly tag them in all our photos, activities, new events which we display on our social networking sites.

We love the praise!! We scroll down for comments lavished upon us and at times we go into a subconscious race with oneself that your post enjoys the most ‘likes’ or ‘following’. Great as it may sound, as, it is a great ego and morale booster to the person who posts them, indirectly that person gives out small snippets of information via replying to those posts!!

Now, it is very easy of a person to understand when you change your status for e.g. ‘enjoying the rains in Kodaikanal’ on your social networking site, that you had been in your house and in the city some time back but now you are in Kodaikanal, and your house is vacant. Running a bit back into your profile history with your tagging of your home at every new acquisition from a TV set to a bone china set, he generally gets the idea about your social status which means how wealthy you are.

The person who intends to break in isn’t a guy from ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ who is after hordes of money from a casino, but just a thief who will pick up everything that glistens in that apartment. Once he gets a small idea about how ‘well-off’ you are he is good to make a small survey of your locality and your house per se. Once that is done then when the time is ripe he moves in and gets away with rich pickings, while you are enjoying your holiday in Kodaikanal!!

A few words of caution

  • Everyone in this world wants a time off from their boring routine. They love to go to see new places and let their hair down. But is it necessary to put all those moments at that exact moment or instance on a social networking site?? Moment by moment updates to get many likes becomes an obsession and ends up giving a good time-frame for criminals to plot their activity against your assets.

  • It is not important to update your status every day, you do not need to upload your photos from a location away from your home. All these activities can be done when you come back from your holidays and load them from the comfort of your home which you had locked and secured when you were out. It is important to be utmost cautious when going out for holidays. A select few people should be aware of your movements when you are away from your house not the whole wide world!

  • Be conscious and Be cautious. Don’t let the race of uploading statuses and photos end up in having an empty house which has been stripped bare of all your precious belongings and memories.

FORTIFY IS HERE TO HOLD YOUR HAND!

In our daily hectic lives, we tend to forget simple but extremely important rules that we need to imbibe in ourselves as an individual, a family, an organisation and a society on the whole. We are not unaware – just, too caught up in a chaos of our busy lives and information overload to know what bodes well for our security.

Personal security starts with our own selves. Yes, there will be guards and police to help you but that will be ‘after’ a crime occurs.

Why not fortify ourselves with simple tips and habits so that crime never catches you at all?!

Why not fortify our children and old parents with easy ground rules to keep them safe against the evolving nature of new threats that they may be unaware about?

  • FORTIFY offers tailormade workshops to inform participants about the changing nature of threats and how can we be amply safe from them, without giving them a chance to touch you in the first place.

  • At FORTIFY, we believe, ‘Be proactive rather than reactive’.

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