New Tech Opens Homeowners to Theft

Foursquare logo
Foursquare might be fun but there’s a danger as well.

Isn’t all of our new technology fun? Honestly, raise your hand if you thought a few years ago that for the price of a few hundred dollars a person could let his smartphone “listen” to the music on the car stereo and tell him what song it is, who it’s by and even purchase and download the song immediately? Amazing! That application is called Shazam and it’s free! Wow.

What we need to remember is that new tech also comes with danger.

Louisville Home Owners Beware

For years, my wife has reminded me about the danger of blogging about an upcoming vacation because there are people who could put two and two together and rip us off while we’re out of town. I don’t publish my home address but that might not be too difficult to obtain in our age of free information.

So for that reason (and the desire to keep my wife happy) I’ve tried to limit those kinds of discussions in the online world.

But now with Foursquare, geotagging, and other new applications, it may be the unintentional works of technology that are causing homeowners to be robbed. This agent in Oregon has clients, that if not for vigilant neighbors, would have lost thousands to criminals who knew they weren’t home because of these new technologies.

Smart Home Owners Are Informed

How does it work? Well, each technology is slightly different. Foursquare is a game of sorts, where people install the application on their smartphone then updates occur on various Websites as to their physical location. It’s completely opt-in but beware… Facebook “friends” might be watching for their own nefarious purposes.

Geotagging is defined by Wikipedia as:

“the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs, video, websites, SMS messages, or RSS feeds and is a form of geospatial metadata.”

Upload those vacation photos with geotagging turned on and anyone hitting that Web site knows you’re in Bermuda rather than in your St. Matthews home.

With the Holiday season upon us, please consider how some might take advantage of your free spirit. Be aware of how your technology works both for you and possibly against you.