How many of y’all have seen status updates on Facebook or Twitter such as “I’m at the gym right now” or “5 days til my vacation in Paris and can’t wait”? We all have seen these type of messages on the web. Matter of fact, we have probably sent out a few of these messages ourselves. But the truth of it all is that by doing so, we are putting ourselves and our valuables in harms way.
There have been multiple robberies lately tied to Facebook and a mobile app called Foursquare, which notifies users of your location. The burglars would utilize this app as a tool for their on-the-fly top robberies since Foursquare would act as a stopwatch for when the homeowners would return.
For example, three robbers in New Hampshire are suspected of using Facebook to find status updates of people who wouldn’t be home. They made out like bandits – no pun intended – and they scored over $200,000 worth of goods before they got caught. Here’s a pic of some of their score.
The robbers checked Facebook to see who would be out of their house at a certain time of the day and their strategy worked. The police says that they broke into over 50 homes.
A site named “Please Rob Me” is attempting to inform those of social media sites and apps like Foursquare to make sure that they are well informed and tries to keep them from stupid decisions so that they don’t become the next victim to be burglarized. The site was built to expose the security flaws of sites such as Foursquare and Facebook as stated on their website.
The danger is publicly telling people where you are. This is because it leaves one place you’re definitely not… home. So here we are; on one end we’re leaving lights on when we’re going on a holiday, and on the other we’re telling everybody on the internet we’re not home. It gets even worse if you have “friends” who want to colonize your house. That means they have to enter your address, to tell everyone where they are. Your address.. on the internet.. Now you know what to do when people reach for their phone as soon as they enter your home. That’s right, slap them across the face.
Hopefully the story above and sites like these can raise awareness to these cautionary tales and make people aware that everything doesn’t belong on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. just because the thought pops in your head.