PleaseRobMe.com: Website warns about safety online - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

PleaseRobMe.com: Website warns about safety online

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - For communications executive Jackie Reau, tweeting and posting on Foursquare are as much work as play.

"It has been cool where I've used Foursquare and I was on a restaurant and I had a different compartments in it and a friend of mine saw that I was there via foursquare and came over and said hello," Reau said. "So that was kind of fun I hadn't seen here in a while."

Reau said over the years she's learned to stop posting certain personal information, including when she leaves town.

"I have in the past and I've stopped," Reau said. "And I think that's another precaution. Going to San Diego for 10 days? Probably not a good idea."

Creators of PleaseRobMe.com couldn't agree more.

Foursquare is a social networking game which broadcasts the exact locations of participants. PleaseRobMe.com takes that information, along with tweets and Facebook posts, and compiles a list of everyone who has mentioned their locations in posts. Creators said it's fine to write a post about your favorite restaurant, but add, once you've tweeted about it, you've told everyone your house is empty. Creators said their brainchild isn't meant to be a tool for crooks, but a wake-up call about online privacy.

Still, social networkers like Joshua Wulf say they understand the concept, but the site won't change their online ways.

"For all they know, I have a good security system and somebody else might be at home," Wulf said. "So just because I'm out doesn't mean my house is unprotected."

Fox19 tried contacting the Dutch developers of PleaseRobMe.com. Co-creator Frank Groeneveld emailed us back, and said his team has been overwhelmed by recent media attention. He sent us a link to their website.

There, we found this statement: "Social media help us, highly social animals, to get engaged. The rate at which new technology develops allows us to do more amazing stuff every day. It's important to reconsider basic things like privacy at the same pace."

So what can you do? Sites can't post your location unless you post it. Websites such as Twitter and Facebook allow users to lock their accounts so only your friends can view posts.

 

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