Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Please Rob Me via Twitter

Being a cranky security curmudgeon, I'm constantly battling with my progeny about their tendency toward social network oversharing.

I'm told that it's a generational difference, that unlike my boomer peers, today's contemporaries believe that real-time sharing is not only normal but encouraged. Facebook's frequently controversial privacy updates demonstrates the social log-rolling involved with determining how much sharing is too much.

Sometimes overlooked by those dishing out a steady stream of updates on the intertubes are the very real implications of what can happen when these data points are collected, collated, and actioned. Case in point - Please Rob Me.

For the uninitiated, Please Rob Me aggregates public Twitter messages, allowing for a centralized view of who's doing what. Geographic location is one of the available filters.

As detailed by Caroline McCarthy on Cnet, these sharing practices could lead to valuable information falling into the wrong hands.

"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," the Please Rob Me site says to explain its rationale. "The goal of this website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz, etc."

As sharing on society networks grows and oldsters like me die off, there's a real concern that fraudsters and crooks will gain real-time access to lucrative information to facilitate their nefarious behavior.

Consider it the modern equivalent of hiding your key under the front doormat. Don't be surprised if someone uses it.

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