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You've packed the car, told the neighbour to feed the cat and the only thing left to do before you leave for holiday is to update your Twitter feed.

"Looking forward to a weekend away in Pauanui! Happy Easter everyone!" one user wrote on Thursday.

But what some social media users don't know is that burglars search for such phrases to track down empty homes.

And new research from Britain reveals they can find an address from a website posting inside 60 seconds.

One Auckland photographer wrote: "About to drive to Whangamata. In the rain. On my own. Have no idea where to go. Good times ..."

The man, whom we have decided not to name, had not thought people could search his Twitter or Facebook pages for malicious purposes.

"It's pretty horrifying really, I didn't even think. I'm so used to using Twitter and Facebook to announce everything."

Although his address was not on his Twitter page, he conceded that a diligent thief could track down his empty home. He'll be more careful in future.

"I'll definitely give it a second thought now."

Social media expert John Lai said posting holiday plans online was like "positing a note on your door saying 'I'm away for the weekend'."

Lai suggested people who wanted to tell friends about their holiday should update their profile when they were back home.

Internet security expert Roly Smoldon said if companies and potential employers could follow what people were doing online, thieves could too.