What’re the odds?

No sooner do I write a post about making yourself a target for robbery than along comes a dedicated domain to highlight online privacy and the dangers on broadcasting your location to all and sundry: pleaserobme.com.

Despite being an avid user, personally I find the Foursquare tweets hugely annoying. I also only accept friend requests on the service from people I actually know – mind you, I do exactly the same on Facebook: Amber MacArthur notwithstanding, I’ve had a beer with every single one of the people in my friend list.

I did dally with geotagging my tweets for a while. This allowed me (or anyone else for that matter) to paste my Twitter RSS feed into a Google maps search in order to see where I was tweeting from – just out of sheer curiosity you understand. The results were pretty much as I expected: various pubs, the office and home. I’ve since stopped geotagging and have deleted all of the data – which, to their credit, Twitter make extremely easy to do.

I do wonder though: exactly how much more likely are you to be a victim of burglary if you broadcast your location? How many criminals are sat just watching Twitter on their (invariably stolen) iPhone, just waiting for someone nearby to announce via Foursquare that they’ve left their house? Isn’t it far likelier that an opportunistic thief will see you leave home and jimmy your back door open or smash a window?

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One thought on “What’re the odds?”

  1. Agreed Nev – having been burgled I know this only too well.
    I have learnt to switch off Latitude outwith 9-5, and very occasionally dip into Foursquare in the knowledge that someone else is at home.
    But then I question my actions because my house is as secure as my work place – surely burglars will know I don’t work until this time at night and chip away at the backdoor… go on I dare you!

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