Omaha, Neb. (PRWEB) June 12, 2012 - What may seem like harmless posts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can increase your chances of becoming a victim of a property crime this summer, according to the National Crime Prevention Council and Signal 88 Security, a private security franchise company with more than 70 locations throughout the country.
FBI data gathered from 2005-2009 shows that the months of May-September consistently have the highest property crime statistics. These types of property crimes are identified as burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft. Property crime rates rise to 9 percent during these summer months – the highest percentage in the calendar year.
What makes property crime hot during the summer? According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), social media plays a key role among other factors.
“People don’t think twice about sharing their vacation plans via social media sites,” said Michelle Boykins, director of communications for the NCPC. “By broadcasting over the internet that you’re going to be away from your home, you’re potentially opening the door to criminal activity.”
Reed Nyffeler, CEO of Signal 88 Security, agrees with the NCPC’s assessment.
“Even if you’re selective about who you communicate with online, there are still vulnerabilities,” said Nyffeler. “People outside of your immediate network may have the ability to access your posts, leaving your property susceptible to crime while you’re away from your home or business.”
In addition to social media, other factors contribute to the rise in criminal activity in summer months.
“Summertime means people are out and about in ways they aren’t typically during the winter months,” said Boykins. “People may leave windows open, expensive outdoor equipment in the yard or visible through an open garage. Criminals are on the look-out for these kinds of easy targets and may seize the opportunity to commit a crime.”
“We see an increase in crime during the summer months,” said Nyffeler. “With school out, kids may have less structured activities to occupy their time. We see a correlation between this and an increase in crimes such as vandalism and theft at homes, businesses, apartment complexes, shopping centers and more.”
To combat the summer spike in crime, the NCPC and Signal 88 developed the Safe Summer online public education program, featuring practical summer safety lesson plans and internet safety tips. Resources specific to homeowners, apartment dwellers, summer vacationers and business owners are available to supplement regular security strategies.
“One of the most valuable tips we can offer during the summertime is to stay vigilant,” said Nyffeler. “Double-check that windows and doors are secured, don’t leave valuables in plain sight outdoors and look out for your neighbors.”
Boykins agrees, “Develop a neighborhood watch program this summer,” she says. “Your neighbors are your eyes and ears while you’re away, so make sure they’re aware of your plans and report any unusual or suspicious activity.”
“Although summertime naturally lends itself to an increase in crime, there’s no reason you have to become a statistic,” said Signal 88’s Nyffeler.
The Safe Summer program tips are available for free download at http://www.signal88.com/safesummer.aspx. The program will be featured in more than 70 communities around the country via the Signal 88 Security franchise network.
Founded in 2003 by former law enforcement professionals, Signal 88 Security provides a wide variety of technologically enabled and advanced security services to public and private sector clients through more than 70 franchise offices nationwide. The company offers site and risk assessments, video monitoring and patrolling, and enhanced patrol services. Signal 88 Security specializes in business and commercial security as well as security for apartment complexes, home owner associations, shopping centers, events and more. For additional information about Signal 88 Security or franchise opportunities in your community, visit http://www.signal88.com.
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