Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Social Media Stalking

The title of this post is not to be confused with one of my favorite pastimes at work the practice of "facebook stalking."  That is, reading other people's pages (people you haven't talked to in awhile, maybe even people you don't know that well?) to figure out what's going on in their lives.  I cast no judgement on fellow facebook stalkers (or blog stalkers, while we're at it).

But what I'm genuinely concerned about is a less breezy form of stalking (because my form of "stalking" - totally breezy).  I saw a segment on soft news (the Today Show) a couple weeks ago about crime as a result of social media.  DUNH DUNH DUUH!  Specifically, break ins at people's houses/apartment because their social media (facebook, twitter, or blog) said they were either out on the town or out of town.

I'm not sure this had necessarily crossed my mind before.  But now, I'm starting to notice all the time when it's done on facebook or blogs (I don't do twitter - but I'm sure it's rampant there as well).  And actually, if you guys start to notice, too, I think you'll be shocked!

"On our way back from a great trip, can't wait to see the puppies!" [after facebooking about the trip in FL the whole time]
"At the bar."
"Experiencing the night life."
"HS reunion meeting."

These are all actual posts on my facebook from today.  Totally innocuous, right?  Unless you're a burglar.  Then it might as well say,

"I'm going to be gone from my house for X amount of time, now's your chance!"
Or if you're on vacation and blogging/facebooking about it, "Seriously man, any time this week is your chance to have at my big, empty house.  I'm G-O-N-E!"

I hate to be paranoid.  And on my facebook, I only allow friends to see any of my info, anyway.  But this blog?  No security.  I'm not sure how twitter works - but is there any security there?  I guess, too, it might depend on the burglar.  For example, in thinking about the people caught for break ins in Memphis, I think it's reasonable to guess they are not looking at social media to find their target.  But maybe in other cities?  Maybe the people who look to social media to find their targets are the really creepy ones.  In which case, you might want to be a little more discreet in posting at which exact bar you're enjoying that brew.

Is this paranoia at it's finest?  Or a reasonable concern in the age of technology?

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