Archive for August 2009
Here is another story about how bad people can use your social network presence against you. In this case, it is about home burglars using information about travel and vacation plans. This really demonstrates why I have this ambivalent relationship with social networking. On the one hand, I love being able to find and reconnect with old friends. On the other, I feel unable to use more than a tiny fraction of the capability because of the identity theft, privacy, and physical security issues associated with really opening myself to the world.
I even agonize over whether I should only “friend” real friends, so only they can see some of the content on my page. The other option is to accept everyone so analysts can’t tell who my real friends are from looking at my network.
In general I have opted out. Even anonymity is a tricky thing in this context. If I go in totally anonymously, then I really get very little benefit from the site. If I try to be anonymous but still connect with friends, the anonymity will be tissue thin and instantly penetrated by anyone interested.