Location-based social networks may be giving too much away.
It’s the latest in the social media craze: online geolocation tools and location-based social networks. Sites such as Foursquare, Google Buzz and Loopt—not to mention old standbys Twitter and Facebook—allow members to share minute-by-minute updates on their whereabouts, whether they’re checking in at a hot new restaurant, vacationing in the sunny Caribbean or just window-shopping on Main Street. Cool, right?
Wrong, say crime fighters. Ask actors Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan, who learned the hard way. Both fell prey to a teenaged bling ring that cleaned out their homes after following online gossip and Internet mapping sites posting their vacation whereabouts.
The size, number and interconnectedness of social networks can make it easy to lose track of who exactly is seeing your posts. Take Twitter, for example, which explains, “our default is almost always to make the information you provide public.”
Recent efforts to raise awareness about over-sharing have included the website Please Rob Me, which gets right to the point: “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.”
Location is sensitive information. Next time you have the urge to brag about your seats at the big ball game, think about who really needs to know.
- Best Practices for FourSquare Marketing and Lead Generation (business2community.com)
- Technology Is Awesome: New “Anti-Social Network” Called Hell Is Other People, Uses Your Frenemies’ Foursquare Updates To Help You Avoid Awkward Run-Ins [Video] (bossip.com)
- Anti-social: ‘Hell is Other People’ keeps you as far away from your ‘friends’ as possible (theverge.com)
- Social Media: The More the Merrier (business2community.com)
- Foursquare Clock Keeps Tabs on Your Whereabouts (makezine.com)