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Old 02-13-2014, 07:56 AM   #1
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Blogs (and home security)

Many cruising boaters post blogs or other public accounts of their cruises and I find these very interesting to read especially if they are travelling where I have travelled or plan to travel.

I usually post accounts of my travels but only to selected friends (on Facebook to a special group). My concern is, by posting publically that I am away from home and plan to be away for a week, a month, etc., there's a risk that information on my absence could fall into the wrong hands and my house could be burglarized.

For those who blog or have considered blogging is this a concern of yours and if so how do you deal with it
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:24 AM   #2
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That is true and is a bit of a concen but we live on a fairly busy road I figure after our garage door has been down for several days anyone driving by will know we are away regardless. We do have a good alarm system, and family who come by to do checks inside and out every so often. Our grass is cut, mail, and newspaper stopped, but it is always a relief, even a surprise, to find the place has not been burglarized while we are away. We do remove special valuables when we are away.
Having said all that I guess we'll return to house broken into next time we return.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:31 AM   #3
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:59 AM   #4
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We post, not only our travels, but our weekly dinner trips and such. TBH, I don't worry about it too much. We have good neighbors that keep an eye on our place. Moreover, the chances are pretty astronomical that a petty thief scourers Facebook (not to mention a blog) for your exploits in the planning of a break-in. I wouldn't worry about your blog tipping off robbers very much. It's the random break-in, possibly a crime of opportunity, that is the best thing to protect yourself from. Don't let your mail or newspapers back up. keep lights on and possibly rotate them with timers. Just make it look like you're home or there is a chance you'll be home soon.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:05 AM   #5
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We post, not only our travels, but our weekly dinner trips and such. TBH, I don't worry about it too much. We have good neighbors that keep an eye on our place. Moreover, the chances are pretty astronomical that a petty thief scourers Facebook (not to mention a blog) for your exploits in the planning of a break-in. I wouldn't worry about your blog tipping off robbers very much. It's the random break-in, possibly a crime of opportunity, that is the best thing to protect yourself from. Don't let your mail or newspapers back up. keep lights on and possibly rotate them with timers. Just make it look like you're home or there is a chance you'll be home soon.
While I agree for the most part...you also have to decide whether your double-wide looks as a juicy target compared to the McMansion development next door.......or vice versa and how much trouble will the burglar go to casing the joint...
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
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I do all the usual things like arranging for mail and packages to be brought in and for the lawn to be taken care of, I put lights on timers, and I have a trusted neighbor who watches the place, but there have been some burglaries in my (moderately upscale) neighborhood in the past year (it turns out they were by teen age and young adult residents of the neighborhood and they are currently out on bond).

I will probably install a monitored security system before our next trip ($800 per year or so) but I still can't trust that Facebook friends won't repost something or that strangers might see that I'm away for a month or two. I guess a blog is less likely to get into the wrong hands.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:10 AM   #7
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You've got to consider the possibility of the whether the kid/skel who might break in is the one doing research on boating blogs and websites. I seriously doubt the Oceans 11 group is going to spend a month planning a break-in of my house by scanning websites, SPOT, and other means to determine when I'm not there.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:31 AM   #8
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It is good that this question occurred to you. It shows an awareness of OPSEC that many people do not have.

There are actually two parts to your question. The first is, what brings a burglar to your home. The second question is, what do you do about it after they arrive?

A burglar might break into your home in a purely random act, or he might've spent weeks scoping it out, just as you were concerned one might.

While it is true that the two possibilities speak to a different skill level and the success that he might have a finding all your hidden stuff, the problem is essentially the same; what do you do about it?


Police departments typically have a form you can fill out when you will be away that notifies them of the fact and let's them know to keep an extra eye out.

And of course, an alarm system. I suggest the kind that is based on broken glass sensors and motion detectors, which calls for help over the cellular network. Having battery backup is also wise. The better burglars have been known to cut your phone lines and pull your power meter.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:32 AM   #9
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And then there is that small fact that the perps have to figure out where you live. Not many boaters post their home addresses on their blogs.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:12 PM   #10
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It's good to be cautious, but I don't think that having a cruising blog will increase the chance of your home getting burglarized.

If I were an internet-researching thief, there are a lot of other people that I would be focusing on before a cruiser, say a pro baller who's away game schedule is public knowlege.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:24 PM   #11
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The cretins that do those crimes don't read. Old Southern adage: "the safest place to hide valuables are in a book". The break in's come from opportunity and convenience, and even then it must be easy. A friend has left his outboard motor lying on the dock next to his inflatable, just arms length from the water on a busy waterway, and it hasn't moved yet, so either Johnsons are worthless, or there's no thieves on the water, or it's too much effort.

KEYBOARD commandos and criminals only move their fingers, not their legs, so no worries. I can't even get people to show up, and I have a super published address.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It's good to be cautious, but I don't think that having a cruising blog will increase the chance of your home getting burglarized.

If I were an internet-researching thief, there are a lot of other people that I would be focusing on before a cruiser, say a pro baller who's away game schedule is public knowlege.
Or Costco! Or become a banker.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:57 PM   #13
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Years back you would never have to worry about tool theft. Since the advent of so many pawn shops and the drug culture that is no longer true. A guy showed up at one of our job trailers with a whole canvas bag of tools to sell. Our job super said he was interested. called me on the radio to bring the cash over. Instead I came over with the police. The tools were stolen from our job.

To get back to the subject of cruising blogs, we do post one mostly for family and friends. We have good alarm systems with underground electrical feeds. The meter would never be found. Then we have insurance.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:00 PM   #14
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Here is a fun twist... Do you worry about your boat being lifted when you are at home? I mean, lots of y'all don't even have keys to start your boat. If someone gets onboard and motors away, one could get pretty far away by the time you get back to notice it's gone.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:05 PM   #15
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So I go to the store, come home, refresh the page and there's an ad for a security system at the top of the page. And, believe it or not, it's on sale but the sale ends tomorrow!

It's not so much that a thief would be reading my blog or Facebook page, just that it might get mentioned and passed on. Some people let just anyone become a Facebook "friend". I get requests from time to time from people I've never heard of.

Quote:
It shows an awareness of OPSEC that many people do not have.
I may have an awareness of it but I don't know what it is. Please spell it out. And yes, I notified the local police the last time I was away for an extended period and I will do it next time but that's going to have them driving by a couple times a day at best.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:09 PM   #16
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:11 PM   #17
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A caution.

Facebook post blamed for break-in at family home - British Columbia - CBC News
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:38 PM   #18
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And then there is that small fact that the perps have to figure out where you live. Not many boaters post their home addresses on their blogs.

I generally advise people not to assume that what they perceive as online anonymity is actually real.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:41 PM   #19
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I generally advise people not to assume that what they perceive as online anonymity is actually real.
Right.

Between "social media" and other Internet sources it's nearly impossible to keep people from finding you if they really want to.

Most of the blogs I read mention the names of the people and the names of the boat. Anyone with an Internet connection can find the name and address of the owner of a US documented boat.

Coast Guard Vessel Search

So much for anonymity.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:31 PM   #20
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OPSEC...operational security
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