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Revisiting "The Dark Side of Status Updates" - a home potentially burglarized after Twitter updates

Back in November 2007, I wrote a post here called "Twitter is Terrific for Thieves - The Dark Side of Status Updates" about the danger in giving away too much information on Twitter (and Facebook, etc.) and how that could potentially lead to someone burglarizing your home. At the time it led to some interesting conversations on Twitter and in the comments.

Fast forward 1.5 years and many million more Twitter users... it appears (and I must emphasize appears) that precisely that kind of thing did happen in Arizona:

Home burglarized after owner 'twittered' he was leaving town


The homeowner very unfortunately was robbed of thousands of dollars of equipment. The Twitter connection was mentioned here:

"Every one of them that reads my tweets that I sent out knows that I was heading out of town," said Hyman, "I've got it set-up where Twitter goes into Facebook, so it could be someone I know about on Facebook."

However, and this is the part that needs to be emphasized, there is really no way to know if the thief/thieves were watching Twitter or if it just happened to be a random theft. As the article says:

Unless the crooks are caught, Hyman said there's no way to know for sure if this was a random act or if he was targeted.

And that's exactly right. It might have been someone who saw equipment in the house through windows. It might have been someone who knew there was a tech business operating out of the house. It might have just been someone randomly breaking into homes.

Or it might have been someone monitoring Twitter.

We may not ever know. As I mentioned in my original post, though, it's important to think about what you say in Twitter or Facebook status updates. Do you really want to tweet that you home is going to be vacant for the next two weeks? Do you want to post the update that you had to leave the 72" plasma TV on the back porch until you could clear up the wall space? :-)

Ah, the brave new (open) world we all live in...

P.S. Hat tip to Todd Van Hoosear for re-tweeting about this Arizona article

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