Using Social Media to Reduce Crime Risk

Anyone following me online right now knows that I’m currently on the West coast. Considering that last year I mentioned that social media can potentially affect home insurance premiums, why aren’t I being more surreptitious about my travels?

For me it probably has a lot to do with the net worth of all of my belongings at home being no more than a few hundred dollars on the Craigslist or Kijiji markets. But not everyone lives so sparse, and there are some emerging solutions to help mitigate the risk of robbery when people are posting their travels.

Earlier this week Nicole Black posted on Google+ a post on LifeHacker with resources on how to set up a home surveillance system using Apple’s FaceTime or on the new Hangouts on Google+,

You can use Google Hangouts as an on demand remote camera viewer. First, create a second Google Account, and put the alternate account in its own circle. Then, start a hangout with just that circle. When you want to checkup on how everything’s going along in your house, you can just join the hangout with your alternate account, and you should see what’s happening. Of course, for more complicated and long term camera solutions, you would need some specific software. This is just a no additional software approach to quickly checking up on your house while you are away.

This helps reaffirm that social media use is not inherently dangerous or risky, and with enough ingenuity most challenges can be overcome. These relatively simple and inexpensive systems should help alleviate concerns of any insurers, and help consumers being threatened with adjusted premium rates some ability to push back. In fact, a social media security system could arguably add an additional measure of protection for the astute home owner.

As for me, the cost of the cameras alone would exceed the cost of replacing what little I have at home, so I think I’ll pass for now.

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