False Sense of Home Security

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Littlesister 1 year, 4 months ago.

  • Author
  • #10253

    Halle Corrine

    Well I just learned something new, and it has sent a chill down my spine.  I was Google searching for a college friend, and eventually I was able to find her and dig up her address and phone number.   Out of curiosity, I Googled that address, and her home address was actually linked to Zillow.com.  I clicked on that link, and took a virtual tour of her entire house.  There were 49 pictures of the inside and outside of her home: entry way, down stair living area, upstairs bedrooms, all bathroom, mudroom, basement, outside deck and backyard.  It also showed an ariel view.  You could clealy see the garage and cars parked outside.   The kicker is that her house is not for sale, but Zillow still has it on their website.  Zillow actuall shows when it was last sold.  It sold over 1-1/2 years ago.  That is too much stakeout information for criminals.

  • #10258


    Wow, that’s terrifying!

  • #10291

    Casper Ship

    Virtual tours are another one of those double edged swords. They may attract more homebuyers to tour a listed property. Also, virtual tours help buyers and sellers to determine a house’s value compared to other listings. On the other hand, that info remains online for a LONG time.

    So whatcha gonna do? Contact Zillow and demand that they delete the VT of the house you bought?? Good luck with that. 😉 Buy from a FSBO who was too cheap to pay for a VT? That will reduce your potential buying choices by approximately 90%. If you’re willing to live with that, go for it.

    The only consolation is that the VT shows the personal property that belonged to the previous seller, not yours. So the would be burglar gets no information about what kind of stuff you have that may be worth stealing.

  • #10293

    Josefina Arenas

    Trulia will keep photos of houses sold posted for years.  My kids bought a house 2.5 years ago and Trulia shows all the photos from the original listing.

  • #10313


    Yeah they won’t know till they drive by and rfid scan since most goods now have embedded devices or a smart home networking. The encryption on a power meter is a joke and it “talks” to everything. Your jewlery is unknown but all electronics and some high end items ie LV, Michael kors ect have embedded rfid. Guys power tools are going this way too due to high theft items and inventory control. Worse thing is the electric meter is an instant casing of your house tells them energy useage so they know when you come and go for atleast a month. You will say well if I see someone I will do something, you think you can hear a drone at night?

    I rely on things that are tough to by pass in layers mainly electronic free, or if electronic component fails there is overlap to  cover it. Simple as a poisoned proof dogs, real dead bolts and redoing every entry door with ssteel frames. Wood framed door to open without marks all you need is a car jack a 4×4 post, you stretch frame of dòor longer than bolt and it open, no noise and you can have in car and not considered break in tools.


    The next person says I have a chain across door there are non cutting chain unhook in tools or a coat hanger. Even using a simple folding latch with a lock will me the door way tougher to get into.
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Our doors have no windows on side, 1.5×1.5x .25 steel square tube frame welded together.  Windows all have decorative wire cover barely leaves a shadow and does not obstruct view,  won’t stop determined person but will buy time. When gone there a re roll shutters that cover ever entrance think the metal screens that roll down over shops when closed In  bad area of town

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  namelus.
  • #10327


    I think it is getting harder and harder to keep up with what we need to do. Both my doors a steel doors as well as my garage door which is doubled steel with insulation in between the two layers. I also have two ways to lock it. One will lock the key pad and the other one is to put a pad lock in the frame of door and it can’t be lifted up. We have also replaced the screws in the two doors with longer steel type screws with extra hinges. Most doors have 3 hinges. We now have 5 on our front and side doors. My concern is the patio door and we are working on that.

  • #10344

    OldMt Woman

    Wow.  Don’t all the Airbnb homes have grande tours too?


  • #10570

    Halle Corrine

    Theft of personal content never entered my mind.  It should be obvious that if they house sold months prior, the content of the house would not belong to the new owner.  My first thought was that of home invasion. Too easy to see the overall layout of the house, potential hiding places, strategic areas to place a look-out, where to place a get away driver, marked entry and exit doors, etc.

  • #10662


    Part of the problem with the virtual tours is that now the entire layout of the house is known, to anyone. And anyone can start a file on certain areas of the city, the high end houses for example.

    Now a house sells, after having been listed for “X” amount of time. Plenty of people have seen it, and someone downloaded the pics. Christmas comes, the yard is lit up nicely and the presents are waiting under the tree.

    Not only does the potential burglar know where the doggie door is, but where the master bedroom is (the good stuff), but also that theres an el-cheapo bathroom door knob on the garage that is super easy to open and the safety release for the garage door is still hanging right there, and is visible through the window also.

    The alarm pad (or not) is in a picture as is many other things.

    At that point, all someone has to do is watch your coming and going for a couple of days to figure out your schedule and its over.

    For those not old enough to remember an ’80’s movie, called “Manhunter”, it went through profiling a serial killer. While highly stylized and dated, it showed how the killer had seen the inside of the houses and the people without having been inside before.

    The people unintentionally showed their lives to him with pictures. How many people do exactly this with “tours”, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat?

    And it may not be you, but your wife and kids. Who is putting what out there?

  • #10725

    OldMt Woman

    That was my first thot too, Halle and Whirlibird.  My kids stay in Airbnbs…

    Too much loose data for the type of folks that use it for their benefit.


  • #21067

    Grizzlyette Adams

    Here’s how to get Zillow to remove the photos of your house off their site.


    Although it would be too late to undo the fact that old photos may have been previously viewed by thugs, you can prevent further damage along those lines.

    This thread is a wake-up call for me! Now I will make certain to research any potential properties that I buy in the future. If photos of the home’s interior have ever appeared online, I will NOT be buying that property.





    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Grizzlyette Adams. Reason: spelling OCD, lol
  • #21069


    And I just realized that I hadn’t properly explained my last line.

    So much information is available for free thanks to instagram and FB and snapchat.

    Those pictures and videos that the kids and grandchildren are posting, who sees those?

    Not everyone of their ‘friends’ are friends. And with the embedded location data in so many pictures, now they know where you are, where you go, and more.

    We lost ‘binky’ yeaterday, what are the odds that binky is one of your passwords? Now that binky is gone, what’s protecting your house now?

    “We” put our lives out there for anyone to see.

    And believe me, your daughters BFF’s scumbag boyfriend is looking.

  • #21076

    Grizzlyette Adams

    Yes! Social media has become the public’s worst enemy! Participants don’t realize how much money thugs are making by monitoring social media. Sadly it’s a stalker’s paradise, too.

    And of course, most folks I know don’t want to bother with a few simple steps to remove the damning metadata that lurks in their photos (see link below).




  • #22961


    Best to sell your house yourself instead of going through a realtor. Though even that can have it’s drawbacks. But is how I sold mine a while back.   Built last one so that didn’t go through a realtor either but the land did. You also save on the fees the realtor charges.

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