I live in Key Largo, Fla., a fishing and diving destination. One of my friends recently posted a picture of his custom, handcrafted fishing poles on Facebook for all his friends to see. He even included a great picture of the new hanging racks in his garage where he stored them. They were stolen later that night while he slept upstairs.
Another friend advertised the great New York vacation his family was taking. They came back to an empty house. Even the food and the garbage cans were gone. You may be able to trust your Facebook friends, depending on how you define "friends," but can any of us trust all of our friends' friends?
[ The Web browser is your portal to the world -- as well as the conduit that lets in many security threats. InfoWorld's expert contributors show you how to secure your Web browsers in this "Web Browser Security Deep Dive" PDF guide. ]
Are we leaking too much of our real lives into our online lives?
Heck, the whole idea of spear-phishing is that you've revealed something about yourself, usually in a public place, which hackers then use to trick you into doing something you otherwise wouldn't. Hackers have tools that scour websites and news stories, then bring back links relating to people. Many of the biggest APT attacks have occurred because the attacker sent an email that referenced a story or project that was buried in a company's public website.
Look, I'm a pretty happy, optimistic guy. I don't think everyone is a criminal or a sexual predator. But I also think that a little common sense about what you reveal online can decrease the risk of maliciousness in the real world.
What you should and shouldn't do
What's my advice? Start with being aware that not everyone who can see your online information has your best interests in mind. There are predators. There's a reason why we have jails and prisons.
Second, practice a little self-censorship. Keep daily routines, locations, and whereabouts to a minimum. If you go on a trip, reveal everything you want to, but save it for after your travels. Everyone will be just as excited after you've returned -- except, that is, possible criminals.