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Please Rob Me.Com Lets Burglars Know When You're Not at Home

Now that sounds like a terribly criminal thing to do, but the creators of this website hope to warn people about the dangers of exposing too much personal information on the Internet:

Please Rob Me consists exclusively of an aggregation of public Twitter messages that have been pushed through fast-growing location-based networking site Foursquare, one of a handful of services that encourages people to share their whereabouts with their friends. You can filter by geographic location, too.

"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."


Link via reddit | Pleaserobme.com | Photo: City of Goodyear, Arizona

I use Hootsuite to pre-program inconsequential tweets and facebook messages when I'm away. "Enjoying a cup of coffee with my wife on the back deck!" Meanwhile I'm 4 hours away.
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That's a good idea, Kev.

On the other hand, does this take into account how many people are anonymous? Even if they aren't, many people, like my parents, aren't in the phone book so having our names and cities doesn't really provide much information.

While I don't doubt a diligent thief can find out all he needs to know to rob someone in any given city with a little effort, I personally don't know anyone who shares their address over the web.

Of course, I'm a student, so I always give my parents' address and not my real one anyway.
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I have seen all kinds of stuff shared online- addresses, telephone #'s, email adds, pix with people labeled by their full names, dates of birth... everything. I agree- it would take dedication to sort it all out and come up with something useful... but what about the weirdo that focuses on one person and then looks for everything he can find about that one person... and comes up with a complete portfolio... I try to be careful...
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I don't think this would work too great for for theives looking for random houses to burgle. But, if you were casing a joint, then yes, twitter and facebook would be great tools to help you pick a time. This is what I told my daughter when she changed her status to "Going to Florida with the family for two weeks!"
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Well, when I'm not home I'm uploading pictures of anything that moves in my home to a web server, so you'd better wear a mask if you're going to rob me.
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Social networking is for mindless morons. I don't need to know about every second of your non-important day, and I don't really want you to know every second of mine. Facebook, twitter,myspace and even youtube at times = pure mindless chatter of non-important individuals who think they are important.
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This link is interesting. It makes me think of something I noticed just last night about all this personal information people put out there on the web. I saw a YouTube video of a fight on a city bus in Oakland which happened Tuesday afternoon, and within hours the name of one person involved in the fight was posted all over the place but more disturbing was the fact that the name, address, phone number, workplace and school of the woman who recorded the video was getting spread around too. Suddenly there was an uncounted number of people all over the world that knew who this woman was and where she could be found. Who knows what kind of terrible use someone might think of for that information?
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Most of the time, thieves will just hit houses that look empty. Unless you're keeping your Fabergé egg collection in the basement, I doubt many Oceans Eleven wannabes are casing your Facebook page.
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Snarlz
Feb 18th, 2010 at 7:08 pm I agree! just what i was going to say. i only checked this out because it was on the news last night, very intresting.

i cant stand f*$#@% myspace

I heard of Facebook AND twitter its all the same waste of time. and its really sad to see parents create profiles for their children or allow them to participate with out monitoring their activities
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They would have a great time getting to my place ,since they would have to either have to take a snow machine in winter or ulterain vehicle in summer. They might have trouble stealing the barrel stove. Or the toilet seat from the out house.
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What I can never figure out some people is why that they will put all of their personal information
online were any sick O can read their personal information use it against them but that show how dum some of these people are by posting that kind of personal information online were so carzy person can get a hold of it and use it against them.
People need to be more smart when they are online and what they put on line me I never put any of my personal information on line because I know that I can't trust anybody online my personal life is mine own and I don't want anybody to know that stuff and that is why I keep it to myself and don't leave that kind of stuff online about me and everybody should be more safer than what they are and keep that to themself.
But we live in a world today were nobody cares about safety and keeping personal information off online and keep it where is should be keep to yourselfs were nobody can read it and use it against you.

Gouch of Tulsa
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These websites assume everyone lives alone though. So what if you're gone? Roommates or family could be there. Not that I participate in all the info sharing, I don't update much. Just sayin'
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For Cola,

Do you have any idea how much information a person can get with just a name and city? A search of property appraisers websites, county public records, etc. It has it all!!
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