in Considerations

What If Thieves Were Social Too?

20070802burglar.jpgA few days ago I have written about the amount of information you may spread over the Internet and the traces of your lifestream.

At the same time I run this news from InformationWeek:

A couple of burglars were stymied when they tried to crack a safe, so they found a computer that had been left on and simply Googled for the information they needed to make off with $12,000 worth of loot.

If we think that the burglar may have access to the Internet and may have some knowledge of social sites a very scaring scenario emerges:

  • They may use google to find blogs with the words “holidays”, “trip” or whatever may let them assume that you are not at home.
  • They may have a look at your flickr photos to see if your relatives are away too.
  • If you are using tools like Jaiku they may check in real time where you are in any particular moment.
  • Thanks to the whois wonders they may find your home address or they can use some “social engineering” to find what your address is. I remember the Kevin Mitnick book titled “The art of intrusion” focused on the risks of social engineering.

We have given them all the tools they need to break in.

Is there anything we can do to avoid this? Probably yes. Maintain a complete anonymity on the Internet such loosing all the values it may offer for to be present. I have thought to this for a while and I have not found an easy solution.

Possibly the only solution is to be social, but not in real time.. maybe a one week delay may be a solution. (Just joking, even if this may be called delayed sociality). Post your holiday photos only when you have come back, update your jaiku/twitter presence with some delay, protect your whois information and so on.

Why do I blog this? This is scaring, isn’t it? Is this the evil side of Web 2.0?

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