Thursday, June 18, 2009

Do Social Networks put you at risk?

I blog pseudonymously, although it's probably not too hard to figure out my secret identity. Mostly it's because a lot of folks here in the People's Republic of Massachusetts think Guns - Ick! I don't want to find that my kid's friends are no longer allowed to play at our house, for fear of catching Second Amendment cooties.

Some people don't think much of pseudonymous bloggers. They don't understand security:
Like a lot of people who use social media, Israel Hyman and his wife Noell went on Twitter to share real-time details of a recent trip. Their posts said they were "preparing to head out of town," that they had "another 10 hours of driving ahead," and that they "made it to Kansas City."

While they were on the road, their home in Mesa, Ariz., was burglarized. Hyman has an online video business called, with 2,000 followers on Twitter. He thinks his Twitter updates tipped the burglars off.


Most people wouldn't leave a recording on a home answering machine telling callers they're on vacation for a week, and most people wouldn't let mail or newspapers pile up while they were away. But users of social media think nothing of posting real-time vacation photos on Facebook showing themselves on beaches hundreds of miles from home, or sending out automatic e-mail messages that say, "I'm out of the country for a week."

Me, I'm updating my Facebook account:
Ted is home cleaning his guns, and waiting for burglars.
(Borepatch likes this.)


Antonia - Beauty Health Finance and Green Issues Editor said...

Do social networks put you at risk?

Well, yes I think they do. I know someone who used to go out with a guy a few years ago, she found out he was cheating, they split up. He turned up at her workplace a few weeks ago after 5 years saying he had been looking for her online. In that time he has been married, divorced, lost his job and house.

She deleted her various online profiles because she found out he had been stalking her social networking profiles (there is a way to find out who is visiting your profiles). So, a few weeks ago he turned up at her workplace asking random people about her. He had been there twice previously before she found out. She says she thinks he has gone mad. It was quite scary when she was telling me.

Borepatch said...

Beauty, this is what handgun concealed carry permits are for. That's one scary example there.

Antonia - Beauty Health Finance and Green Issues Editor said...

Hi Borepatch,

I live in London, UK. We are not allowed to have guns here.

Oh, I just remembered, she told me that he told her that he had been looking for her address and phone number online because she had moved house since they went out. He also asked her why she had deleted her profiles online.

Anyway, she has now told people at work not to give out her details to anyone who comes looking for her.

Borepatch said...

Beauty, that's a lot harder. Not only can you not have guns, but it seems more an more that the authorities don't want you even to defend yourselves.

Good luck to your friend.

And if you're ever in the Boston area and want to go shooting, drop me a line.

TOTWTYTR said...

I'm worried about this in regards to my daughter. She's 24 and I still worry about. Fortunately, she has Dad's common sense, and she was a CJ major in college. She knows that there are creeps out there.

NotClauswitz said...

I refuse to engage in such social networks. I got an "Invitation" from my sister to join her at Facebook and wrote back that I strongly declined. And she said, "What, I never sent you anything?" Apparently Facebook does it "for you" if add people in your emaill list or something. Likewise my elderly parents have received similar "invitations" from friends and have been manipulated to feel it's rude if they ignore them or do not respond in kind. It's Facebook growing itself.
So no, never, ever. Facebook can FOAD.

word verf: toilet - yep!