Web2.0rhea sufferers may pay a high price for their compulsive use of Twitter and Facebook, in the form of higher insurance premiums. A witty site called PleaseRobMe.com has shown how easy it is. The site finds user profiles of users on Twitter and other social networks who’ve listed their addresses, and also indicated that they …
Hit those idiots in the only place they'll feel it; their wallets.
Common sense is dead and buried. Tell someone they shouldn't post real time details of their location on a public internet site and they'll simply gawp at you and go "huh?".
Not only are they mentally incapable of grasping the horrible implications of the new world they are ushering in, they actually start to feel emotionally lost when people aren't spying on them. Reality TV has done a great job conditioning people to behave in this way.
And as long as the government can point to these low-IQ flesh drones and say "THEY don't mind being spied on, so WHY do you?" we are all screwed.
I am surprised that they have not used TripIt.
If anything is "Please Rob Me" that is for sure. It gives the exact duration when the homeowner is not at home, it also says where he is and is used on websites like LinkedIn where the average public is in the top 5% pay bracket.
In fact that may have probably be the only way said TripIt can trip-up some profit and be its viable revenue model.
Carefull there citizen.
We don't want to end up in re-education camp, now do we?
Nothing new here
The web just re-invents what was already happening in a different way.
Pick up any paper to find details of marriages (lots of expensive presents mostly still in boxes), deaths - likely empty houses, prize winners etc etc. Or walk down any street on rubbish collection day and inspect the empty hifi equipment boxes outside, or wheelie bins still sat outside.
That said, if you are going on hols, fairly obvious don't say so on a social networking site, just post some picks (for your friends) when you get back.
Our neighbour obligingly puts our bins out for collection and puts them back in the garden afterwards. If our holiday coincides with a green bin week, he usually takes advantage of an extra bin's worth of garden waste he can remove from his garden so they're not even empty.
Ah, but that's bother...
Instead of walking down a street hoping to strike lucky, maybe making several trips (once to spot the boxes, again to check for absense), you can do it all from the comfort of your chair with better accuracy, more targetted, and covering a wider geographic area.
This is why the witless blathering is a risk.
Your only risks will be honeypots and other people with exactly the same idea...
RE Helpful Neighbours
So Number6, what you are suggesting is that we get helpful Web2.0 neighbours to continue to post inanely on our behalf whilst we're away?
Unless you're going somewhere with no connectivity, that's the bit you can do yourself. If you're really paranoid, leave a machine running at home and connect in to that so you can apparently continue to post from your home location.
I'm sure it's not impossible to come up with something like the various jargon generators to randomly post drivel at intervals during normal waking hours. It might even be more popular than having to think and type it yourself, thus freeing up time to do more productive things.
IT MUST BE DONE
And where is AManFromMars' twitter postings? Probably better than any drivel from Government Corporate wannabe... :0)
As soon as I started thinking about people posting thier location it seems so natural for someone to start logging patterns of movement.
It wouldn't take long to work out which was actually home and what thier habits are - like always using the same Starbucks at the same time each day "I always go there because . . ."
The same peopole who lhave left comments on the Please Rob Me pages - like "These guys who started this are all douchebags" have fallen for the whole 'LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME" bollocks and will tbe the very people who get burgled, mugged etc. They are also most likely the same people who welcome police using the same tactics to 'monitor terrrorists' and somehow claim 'unfair' when the same technology is used a little bit wider.
This site could also be mashed with sites like 'UpmyStreet' to get the best scores for a blagging.
You give the AOL/Yahoo generation means to talk and they will talk - they will blog ceaselessly but the only ones listening are those they'd rather not engage with. A tiny bit of grooming and the crooks will have all they need. A little bit of paranoia goes a long way these days. Talk to everyone but don't leave a note out for the milkman saying 'gone on holiday, back in two weeks'.
The assumption that premiums for those who don't broadcast their away from home status will be lower is open to interpretation. Lower than those who do broadcast? Maybe. Lower than what they are already? For some strange reason I don't think so.
While the publicity for this site will hopefully make twerps think twice, I would very much hope that some enterprising police force will set up a twitter profile or two. It should be a long-term operation -- for the next few months the feed should contain posts that mention how nice it is to have some new consumer toy.
Then in about 6 months time, the references to location should be artfully slipped in. 6 months later, and every six months after that, references to going on holiday.
Stick a few Web-cams on the property and away you go.
instead of wasting thousands of pounds and years of time doing that, they could, you know, turn up when you call them?
might work, it certainly hasn't been tried yet.
Butch R Mann
Like in the Chopping Block webcomic where our favorite serial killer leaves expensive home entertainment system boxes in front of his home and waits...
Some twits and face fuckers might take notice, but I doubt it.
I can see there being a cop out / check box for home insurance:
My insurance is invalid if....
A Better Use
It's much better to continue using the sites for more of the same inane drivel and then admit when you get home that you've just been on holiday. Of course, beware of posting at 4am because you're in a different timezone because that might provide a few clues. I've always had the policy of not admitting I'm going on holiday or that I'm actually on holiday,
Track down everyone who looks at Please Rob Me and put them in jail without a trial. Simples. I'm sure Gordon Brown will be able to get this on the statue books before the next general election (he is, after all, allegedly a bully).
"Social networking users are more affluent"
Effluent maybe, but not affluent. If brains were currency most wouldn't have enough for a penny chew.
How is this different from...
...blaming women who dress provocatively if they get raped?
Let's not lose focus here.
The most recent research I had seen on the subject of blaming rape victims indicates that people are quite likely to blame a woman who takes her clothes off and gets into bed with a naked man she has no intention of having sex with.
Tweeting that your home will be empty for a week is more on a par with that than with showing a bit of cleavage.
Missing the point
If I go out leaving the front door open and get burgled, the thieves are just as much thieves as if I'd double locked it. I will, however, get much less sympathy down the pub and my insurer may well decline to pay out, citing "contributory negligence".
"A fool and his money are soon parted"
It's always been so. Inappropriate social network usage is just the latest stupidity.
Or as Larry Niven had a character in one of his books observe, "Think of it as evolution in action".
There's an app for that...
now all we need is the app that geo-locates the user, finds the nearest entry on pleaserobme, links to a directions service to show the way there, and finally to streetview so you get the right house... A perfect use for the iphone you just stole...
The title is required, and may contain peanuts.
Now there's a useful app I'd actually pay for! All I need is to find where's the credit card in this stolen wallet...
It's been reported for years that opportunistic thieves would spam local companies in the hope of getting an "out of office" message along the lines of;
"Hi, I'm way on holiday until the 15th so please feel free to pop around and take what you want".
A quick phone book search would reveal the address and off they go...
We have a company policy that employees must not include a return date in out of office messages for just that reason.
It must be Monday because I can't get my head round this at all.
If you wanted to raid an office, and you were hoping not to find anyone there, why not just go after office hours? This has two advntages over the phone book approach: a) you don't have to worry about the remote possibility that more than one person might work in the office, and b) at some point it gets dark and makes it more difficult for passers by to see you breaking in.
Not the office...
I am assuming that the phone book would be to find the name and HOME address of the person the Out-Of-Office reply came from, helpfully provided by the automatic signature attached (Thank you, Outlook/Exchange!).
If the target was the office, yes, after hours is best.
...the thief would track down the employee's home address and burgle that.
Wouldn't work so well on people like me who prefer to take holidays at home (often with a welding-stick in hand).
Assumption that we live alone?
Many people do, mature online games players perhaps more so - but if I'm not home, that doesn't.mean no one's home.
Might get you mugged for your smartphone, though. "Location: strolling through 'Crime Alley' having watched a movie with Mrs Wayne and little Bruce. LOL my name is Thomas you pervs, Dr Wayne to y eurgh"
Surely the most appropriate mashup for PleaseRobMe would be Ebay, for a complete end-to-end robbery-to-fence experience.
ah evolution in action
that was a good book
Everyone is single
This of course presumes everyone is single, not living with anyone else etc and your house isn't alarmed and your neighbours aren't friendly.
Just because one person is 'away from home' doesn't mean everyone is..... your house isn't alarmed and your neighbours on watch. You'd also have to react in time before they got back... so that means finding a suitable target, getting there, determining its empty and getting the job done without raising suspicion or setting off the alarm.
Much easier just to walk down a street if you are that way inclined.
That is all.
Just because I am not home does not mean that nobody is at home.
That said, I find it baffling that people allow FB that much access to their data. I spent about 30 minutes on Facebook before realizing what a huge data mining gem it was, and going in and locking down my account so hard that only people who I've already friended even know I'm there, and my account is set so if I locked it down one bit more even my friends couldn't see me. Also I have a special email account that is all that Facebook knows about, and which is never used anywhere else.