Tag Archives: Social_Networking_Privacy

Social Media Blog: Pleaserobme.com Raises Cyber Criminal Activity Awareness

Pleaserobme.com is a social media website "listing all those empty homes out there". The website aggregates all Twitter tweets which have location based information or information telling others that the user is not home. The website explains its purpose with this little explanation in their "Why" section:

"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."
 
Here are some recent feeds from the site; although I've protected them by leaving out the tweeter's information:

  • @xxx I'm at http://4sq.com/9i…..

You get the point. Pleaserobme.com's goal is to raise awareness about this growing concern about online privacy and cyber criminal activity. They do it in an interesting way; if I were them, I'd do it just a little bit differently. Calling it "opportunities" just makes me feel creepy even though their intent is to raise awareness and help people be safe.
 
Are we all saying "Please Rob Me" when we are posting real-time status updates to share where we are, where we plan to go on vacation, who's home and who's not? I did that once too. I posted details about where the family was going on vacation including dates and location pictures of the most beautiful condominium I found on the ocean. Talk about stupidity!!!
 
I'm a reformed social networker. I am a lot more careful about personal information sharing than I was even 10 months ago.
 
Be safe everyone, think before you post your status and details about your life online.

 

Social Media Blog: Are Your Social Profile and Status Updates TMI?

Online profiles offer a load of personal information to anyone who knows how to search online. Besides your profile on social networks, have you considered the information you are posting online?

Online users in their need to "connect" and "interact" are sharing so much information only that it's making them vulnerable to criminals. The Digital Criminal, published by a reformed burglar Michael Fraser, provides some very eye-opening statistics which I am sharing below:

  • Approximately 38% of users publish their holiday plans on Twitter and Facebook. I used to be one of those 38% until last year.
  • 33% of people have posted status updates telling everyone that they were away for the weekend.
  • 17% of users can see other people's residential information on totally public profiles

Michael Fraser is correct when he calls social network statuses as "internet shopping for burglars". People are not only telling others that they are out but are also providing coordinates of where they are. Do we even realize what we are doing when we are baring all information for others to see.

Are you connecting with perfect strangers? Is your personal information easily viewable? Are you giving out details about vacation and travel plans readily?

So friends and colleagues, THINK whether you are giving out TMI meaning TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

Here are some other findings from the Digital Report  – remember, a little is a lot on social networks!

  • Younger people share more information with perfect strangers – parents beware
  • 34% of study participants shared that they seen personal phone numbers on people's profiles
  • People are sharing cell phone and home addresses with perfect strangers
  • Men are more open with their information than women

 
Next time you tweet or update your Facebook or Buzz status,  think whether the information can make you vulnerable to a criminal activity.