Burglars Putting Twitter To Bad Use

Filed as News on June 9, 2009 3:17 pm

USA Today runs the AP story about Israel Hyman who twittered on his vacation and got his home burglarized. Twitter is blamed, because with constant updates on where Hyman and his wife were, the burglars could take their time. The AP story says:

Most people wouldn’t leave a recording on a home answering machine telling callers they’re on vacation for a week, and most people wouldn’t let mail or newspapers pile up while they were away. But users of social media think nothing of posting real-time vacation photos on Facebook showing themselves on beaches hundreds of miles from home, or sending out automatic e-mail messages that say, “I’m out of the country for a week.”

That’s the gist of it really. We’ve heard this before, about traditional blogging. If the wrong people follow you on Twitter, is watching you on Facebook, or reads your blog, and you tell them that you and your family will be on vacation for a week, then they could exploit that. It is worth thinking about, at least.

Do you worry about letting burglars know when you’re out of town via Twitter?

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  1. By Chris Harrison posted on June 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm
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    Honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about these sort of things happening. :\ A taste of things to come? I hope not…


  2. By Amit posted on June 9, 2009 at 7:03 pm
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    Hi Thord Daniel Hedengren, thanks for a great post. It was really eye an opener, never thought of this aspect .


  3. By GoingLikeSixty posted on June 9, 2009 at 9:34 pm
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    Izzy is a publicity hound who knows he can leverage all the Twitter buzz to get traffic. He’s a fraud. Even his wife thinks his claim is bogus.


  4. By Brian Carnell posted on June 10, 2009 at 1:56 am
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    Simple solution…when you go on vacation and Twitter about it simply twitter about the friends/professional wrestlers/well-trained ninjas who are house sitting for you, etc, etc.

    I doubt this is a serious issue as there are a lot easier ways to find homes to rob than scouring twitter, but if it is a concern there’s no reason you can’t use Twitter as a burglary deterrent.


  5. By Paul Riley posted on October 7, 2009 at 1:53 pm
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    I have made it a rule that I never put information on any of my blogs, or social network sites that could help anyone that I don’t want finding out where I live and work.

    I also blog and post in retrospect, write the articles at the time, but post once your home.

    And finally ensure that you have at least one police officer living in you immediate neighbourhood.


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