February 18, 2010

Geo-Localized Tweets Apt for Criminals

Image from Pleaserobme.com
Please-Rob-MeThere are lots of geo-location based services out there now, like Foursquare and Buzz.
These allow you to tell the world where you are currently in addition to other info like what you are upto.

It is definitely fun and sometimes comes in handy for people who travel.

But if you are prone to put sensitive information on your whereabouts on the internet, do think twice. Because sites like Please Rob Me have come up, that allow a person's public tweet/buzz/location updates to be filtered and indexed. It will tell a potential criminal whether you would be available at your home for the weekend or not, making the information gathering an easier task for him/her. The site is actually meant to show the users how much vulnerable they are.

Its not very common in India for a criminal to be considered tech-savvy, so Indians might find it a trivial matter. But irrespective of location,criminals( successful and ambitious ones ) have been found to be one or two steps ahead of the society's expectations off them. So, next time when you post something, just give a thought whether it will put you or someone close to you in danger in real life. Its better to be safe than sorry.

In a related story,a person hacked through the authentication system of Foursquare, the popular geo-location service,and exploited all its benefits. Read his confessions here

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