We've all heard the line that Facebook is the best thing to happen to burglars since the crowbar. Since people (a) are oversharers by nature and (b) rarely think about anything before they act, it won't take a thorough search to find one of your friends bragging about how they just landed in Germany or how they are off to the beach for a week.
And why shouldn't they tell their Facebook friends and Twitter followers that news? That's what social media is for, right? Being social?
But of course there is always the worry that someone will see your vacation statuses and think it is the right time to break into your house. A security firm in the UK says it will give you piece of mind when you're away by implementing a series of faux-Facebook posts and tweets to create the illusion that you are still at home.
Think of it as the internet's equivalent of leaving a light on, or leaving a car in the driveway. Or settling up an elaborate fake party with mannequins and a life-sized Michael Jordan cardboard cutout traversing your living room on a train set - you know, whatever applies to you.
"Putting up a Facebook posting of photographs on a beach to 300-400 ‘friends’ is like leaving an advert on your door to a burglar telling him when you will be out.”
Apparently, a significant number of Precreate's clients reported robberies while on vacation after announcing the details of their trip on Facebook and Twitter. So the company decided that they would begin posting pre-approved status updates and tweets while their clients are away - for a small fee of course.
So while I'm gone, I can pay someone to post things like "Snuggling up on my couch for a late night movie!" on my social media accounts. Because I don't have access to the internet and can't post fake updates myself?
This is obviously just one of the problems with this kind of service. Would it mean that I have to abstain from posting anything about my vacation? It would kind of give up the rouse if right above the tweet about unloading groceries or something there was a photo of me drinking mai tais on the beach.
Plus, with privacy settings and all, I can limit the flow of information to a select few people. And if your inner circle contains someone who would rob you blind while you're away, you probably need to watch who you friend on Facebook.
And as TNW points out, if you really don't want to be obligated to fake-update your social media statuses whilst you're away, something like HootSuite will let you schedule updates for a future time.
Precreate's Jackson seems to think there could be some other benefits to employing his service. "It’s getting to the point now when insurance firms are going charge higher premiums for social media users," he says. Great. Just because I drive a red sports car, smoke a pack a day and overshare on Facebook, I'm going to have to pay higher premiums.
Having said all of that, it is an interesting idea. Do you think it is possible that it could catch on? Let us know what you think.