Lately I’ve been obsessed with foursquare. People are saying that 4sq will be the next Twitter and it’s catching on pretty quickly. The premise is that you check-in where ever you are at, and you can see whether any of your friends are there or what cool things there are to do there. There’s also a game aspect, which is the most appealing to me, where you can earn badges based on your check-ins.
Now invariably when I mention 4sq, someone will mention Please Rob Me and how sharing your location online gives thieves an easy opportunity to identify when you’re not at home and rob you. Frankly I think this is bull.
If you get robbed, it’s either because a thief randomly picked your home to rob or someone you know knew you were out and robbed you. If it’s the former, then sharing your information online doesn’t hurt you. If it’s someone you know, then only in a small percentage of the case will sharing your location help them. I think it’s a small percent because usually your home is empty when you’re at work so if someone wanted to rob you, they should just wait until you’re at work! And that’s assuming that whoever is stalking you knows where you live IRL.
Sure sharing your location information is a risk, but I’m tired of people saying that it gives an opportunity for someone to rob you. If someone wants to rob you, this would only help them marginally. Actually I think a bigger problem is having people you don’t like show up where you are.