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Warnings about holidays and “check-ins”


GeoTag Danger

Risks of geo-tagging

Did you know that your smart phone could unknowingly be putting you in danger? A number of applications and social networking sites “Geotag” your location when you post or take pictures. Your privacy settings might also allow others to tag you at these locations!

This is a useful feature in certain circumstances. However, it does allow others to watch your every move. For example, Facebook allows you to do a simple “check in”.

Using a local telephone directory, and a public search of Facebook pages can identify individuals and were they are within a few minutes. To illustrate this, wander over to http://youropenbook.org/

Another site was able to Track down a person called “Cathy”.

  • She checked in at the Sugar Patch Lounge. A quick tap on the screen gave us a map and directions to the bar in West Baton Rouge Parish.
  • A quick drive they were there. It didn’t take us long to find “Cathy”.
  • She was sitting at the bar, just feet from the front door.
  • They were able to recognize her from her Facebook photos.

“Cathy” also checks in at home… She’s not the only one… A lot of people do.

Still not sure… more from the article:

  • “James” checked in at home.
  • The Google map took us to a neighborhood, but did not give us a street name. No problem.
  • Exploring his profile a bit, saw he was married to “Sandy”,
  • Looked it up in on Whitepages.com, and there was an address and a list of people in her household.

A woman in Indiana reportedly caught a childhood friend on camera while she was out listening to a band. The friend was ransacking her house – the status update said, “Heading to XXXX with <husband> to see <<band>>.” That was enough for a pair of burglars to walk off with $11,000 worth of her stuff.

There are still no real statistics around exactly how many crimes stem from people checking in, however for me, one is too many.

Sources and other references:


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  1. December 28 at 8:14 AM
  2. December 30 at 4:00 AM

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