In a March 24 story, The Vancouver Sun asked whether “the shooter who wounded two men outside a popular downtown restaurant last weekend learn[ed] of their whereabouts through Twitter” after it was revealed that one of the victims twice tweeted his location before the attack.
The comment by “anon273906963” that “Twits who tweet where they are eating, or post pics of their food… deserve to be shot” is ugly, ridiculous and ignorant (which perhaps explains why the person didn’t use their real name in posting it), but we need to realize that simply because *we* are not criminals or criminally-inclined, doesn’t mean others aren’t.
While it is impossible to eliminate the risk of danger completely, by avoiding sharing too much, you can reduce your chances of letting those who have ill will towards you know your exact whereabouts. So here are some suggestions:
- If your purpose is to let friends know what a great time you’ve had at a cool party, or to let competitors know that you’re networking with high-profile and influential people at one of the premier out-of-town events in the industry, consider broadcasting it shortly afterwards.
- Don’t broadcast that you’ll be away on vacation, leaving your home unattended.
- Don’t do check-ins at your home or others’ homes. [Note: Foursquare has a recent feature enabling users to keep the actual address of their home private and available to just his or her friends.]
- Don’t do check-ins at your children’s school.
- Don’t consistently check-in at your grocery store or gym that lets others know what your regular schedule is and makes it easy to track and find you.
- Don’t indiscriminately link your location-based services to other social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook.