Social Media paranoia or valid concern?

Up until a few months ago I had no problem with the practice of sending real time updates to sites like twitter, facebook, flickr, blogs, or other social platforms.  However, I’ve refrained from updates during my recent travel.  I also haven’t put my trips in dopplr or similar sites.  My apparent paranoia began as I put together this blog and the associated sites that make up my persona on the Internet – see my About page.   The more information about me that I aggregate and expose on the Internet, the more someone could potentially identify my physical address and perhaps take advantage of real time information that I present on the web.

Of course, very few people read this blog and the prospect of a criminal reading it and being in my physical area and taking advantage of the fact that I am traveling is probably minuscule at this point.  However, if I am announcing when I am not home and perhaps a member of my family is home that is a risk that I don’t want to invite, no matter how small.  It’s one thing to have someone rob your empty house, it’s another to have them think it is empty and yet have your family there.

Am I paranoid or is this a valid concern?

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7 Responses to Social Media paranoia or valid concern?

  1. Michael Rowe says:

    Bill, I know the feeling. As you know we talked about this on Dogear-Nation the other week, and I just finished listening to On The Media Podcast… The amount of data out there is staggering… and the ease at which it can be aggregated is also problematic. I am also very mixed about this since it can either be a very powerful personal branding activity… or a very public exposure of confidential information if not controlled correctly. The other issue is, today many companies and organizations are already actively aggregating your data without your control… so is social media a way to control the message? — Michael

  2. bill says:

    Of course there are many situations in the physical world that can add risk, but I seem to accept those more easily.

    I’m not one to worry too much about the big brother scenarios, but I do worry about the crime scenarios. Not unlike my irrational discomfort with flying and an equally irrational comfort driving to a New York airport! The statistics should make me feel the opposite way.

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  5. Keith Brooks says:

    Bill, Luis pointed me to your post. Sadly I have been trying to make this a key discussion at SocMed events and in other situations but it rarely gets the discussion it requires.
    An open world is nice until someone gets hurt.
    Hopefully not to you, me or anyone else we know, but it is just a matter of time in all likelihood if we all don’t watch what we say and when.
    College students should be warned and made to understand this but so far my efforts locally have been pushed aside.
    Thanks for posting this and hopefully more people will read it and think about it.

  6. bill says:

    Luis, sorry to hear you might have experienced the downside of my social computing paranoia. I hate to think the worst of people, but I know there are those that exploit the positive things in life. Your blog post makes this all the more real.

    Keith, regarding college students, most of my warnings tend to be about the Internet content that follows them to a job interview. This is certainly another scenario for everyone to consider.

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