Sunday, 10 June 2012

Facebook is not to blame for burglary

The Age has published an article titled The problem with oversharing: why burglars like you using Facebook. The article suggests that if you posts something on Facebook that burglars will know exactly where you are and, if you are not home, they will go into your house and rob it.
IT SEEMS harmless enough: announcing your holiday plans on Facebook or uploading that dinner party photo to Twitter. But according to cyber safety experts, such posts are a gift to burglars and stalkers. ''Not only are you telling me where you are, you're telling me where you're not,'' says cyber safety consultant and former police officer Susan McLean. ''And I could get that photo, run it through a program and find out exactly where it was taken.'' One New South Wales family learnt just how dangerous this can be when they were robbed at knifepoint recently, hours after their daughter posted a photo of her grandmother's savings - in cash - on Facebook. Just before midnight, two men broke in and demanded to speak to the girl, who was not home. They then stole money and property from her terrified mother.
It is certainly possible that you can reveal your location by posting pictures to Facebook, but how Facebook differs to a website is that it is not open to the public unless you allow it to be. Only people you approve to see the pictures can see the pictures you post. And if your friends are the ones robbing you, you should not be approving them on Facebook to see your photos anyway. If you don't know whether your friends are burglars or not, posting a picture on Facebook is no different to if you handed a physical photo to that friend, only Facebook is far cheaper and efficient. The problem therefore is not Facebook but that you shared photos with a friend who you shouldn't have.

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