Risk
6/2/2009
11:21 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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Tweet Your Vacation Status. Get Burglarized?

Any of us who regularly use the micro blogging site Twitter do it all of the time: we broadcast our whereabouts in real time. It's kind of the point of the entire Twitter experience. Yet, this video podcaster believes he may have been robbed because of his Tweeting his vacation status.

Any of us who regularly use the micro blogging site Twitter do it all of the time: we broadcast our whereabouts in real time. It's kind of the point of the entire Twitter experience. Yet, this video podcaster believes he may have been robbed because of his Tweeting his vacation status.Israel Hyman, known as @izzyvideo on Twitter, came home with his family from a vacation in the midwest to find the house had been burglarized. Hyman believes the trouble started as a result of a Tweet that stated he and his family were away from home, and on vacation.

It's possible one of Israel's followers targeted him as a result of the Tweet. Then again, all Tweets (unless you lock your account) are publicly searchable. It is also conceivable thieves were searching Twitter, using Twitter search, seeking people who were traveling, and would be away from home for a number of days. Unless the thieves are caught, we'll probably never know.

Interesting thing is, it's almost impossible to use Twitter without revealing information that could make one vulnerable to attack, or at least a target. Many regular users of Twitter will reveal their commute times, property they have in their home, their location, real name, when they're at conferences, and even when they've arrived at the airport.

Will this change the way people use Twitter? Perhaps so, if these types of events become commonplace.

Then again, it's quite possible the entire episode is an unfortunate coincidence for Israel. Correlation, after all, doesn't always reveal causation.

If you'd like my technology and security observations throughout the day, please follow me on Twitter. (But feel free not to show up at my home, while I'm away).

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