There is a brand new site that just launched on Monday that parents need to know about. It is called WeKnowYourHouse.com and it aggregates tweets by users who write about being home. In addition, it goes through the posts to finds the ones that include the users’ location. Using this information, which are completely available to the public, it uses Google Streetview to post an image of what may be the person’s home. It does the same thing for users of Foursquare and Instagram.
For example someone tweeted “I’m at home sweet home <3.” Another tweeted “last day at home.” Yet another proclaimed “home at last!!” Sounds kind of mundane, right? WRONG … because these updates, along with dozens of others, showed up Thursday morning on a new website that also displayed a possible photo of the users’ houses.
The sites’ creators, who declined to be identified, describe the site as a “social networking privacy experiment” aimed at raising awareness about how posting about being at home can pose real privacy and security risks.
This is IMPORANT and you need to learn this and TEACH YOUR KIDS: Twitter users can prevent their location data from being posted by unchecking a box under “Settings > Accounts.”
“In a connected society like today, people share way too much about themselves, which has never been a good thing,” the site’s creators said in an e-mail. “The site was created to show its really dumb to check in at home, or say you’re at home with locations enabled,” they added. “People need to understand this, whether they like it or not, and a site of this nature attracts attention and gets results.”
The site partially censors that the complete location information and only displays it for an hour before deleting it to protect the users’ privacy, according to its creators.
WeKnowYourHouse.com is not the only site drawing attention to the security risks of over-sharing. The website “PleaseRobMe.com” uses similar techniques, but to do the opposite: to show when you’re not at home.
If grownups are sharing way too much information online, how can we expect our kids to know what the settings should be and how much is too much? The time to take action to protect them is NOW