Who are you telling you are going away?

My advice to you last time about going away is to be circumspect in public and specific with those you know and trust. Especially be aware of systems like Twitter and Facebook, where your updates will often make it clear that you are not at home, and for how long.

Just in the last few days, the papers reported that a rather unpopular figure in the UK was targeted for a visit late at night, the “Fat Cat” banker Sir Fred. He was, and still is, out of the country – he left immediately after the scandle about his £13 million pension arose – and this was widely reported in the news. Once someone tracked down his address, which is a mater of public record and findable for a few pounds online, they could enter it into Google Maps, and, perhaps, StreetView. This gives them a very high resolution map of where they are targetting, along with, in StreetView, good enough photography that they can determine alarm box positions, paths, letterboxes, etc. without ever needing to go near the target address.

How close can we get? Well, the ever-useful Daily Mail published a nice aerial shot of his house, plus a map, and some high-res pictures of it, as well as the fact that his street is “something road, Edinburgh” in a peice decrying StreetView. This isn’t going to happen for most people, though. Generally, you’ll have to either find your own details to hide them, or someone else will find your details to victimise you (perhaps).

Here’s 240 Poplar High Street. I picked it at random. I know it would take me half a day to get to it from Bromyard, and that when I got there, I could park for up to 4 hours between 8:30 and 5:30, but not if I’m in a lorry, because I can clearly read the road traffic sign.
View Larger Map This level of detail means that very little that can be seen from the street is now safe from (remote) prying eyes.

Of course, for a very long time people have done “reccies” of targets. It’s what you do – you go and look around and work out what you want to steal, how to get in, where to run away to, where to park a car. The difference is that now, the CCTV at the site cannot find you, because you were never there. Google logs everything, of course, so you could in theory be tracked down, even if you use a proxy or two, but the odds are far lower than someone recalling a guy peering in the window two days before.

What to do? Well, re-assess, or have an expert re-assess, your security. I’d recommend an ICL member, as we are all reputable and know what we are doing. Some things will be trivial, others will be more expensive, and you will have to determine how much you feel you can justify to yourself for your security. However, for under £100 most places can have their general level of security massively improved. Give us a call!

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