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Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare: Tools of the modern burglar?

Most thieves can't get enough social media. A survey of cons says it's practically part of the job description these days.

Think twice next time you're planning to tweet about what a great time you're having on your vacation, thousands of miles from your empty, vulnerable home.

A survey of 50 convicted burglars in the U.K. suggests the tools used by today's modern criminals include more than just a black ski mask and crowbar. Seventy-eight percent said they'd used Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social-media sites to target properties.

Also notable, nearly three-quarters of thieves have stepped into the 21st century and take advantage of Google Street View to case joints that might be worth robbing.

The home of Israel Hyman in Arizona was burglarized a few years ago, shortly after he tweeted road trip status updates like "preparing to head out of town," "another 10 hours of driving ahead" and later, "made it to Kansas City" to his 2,000 followers.

Bloggers like myself rarely worry about this sort of thing since I write every CNET post from home and have everything delivered to me via Amazon Prime. In case I didn't make it clear, I never leave my house. Never. I'm way too far behind on polishing my gun collection to go out. And you know what else I like? Booby traps -- they really put the fun in home ownership.

Of course, social media can also be a tool for catching crooks as well -- especially those who like to use Facebook as an outlet to brag about their latest heist. compiled some other social media safety stats from the UK into a nifty infographic. You can click on the excerpt below to view the whole thing.