New Website PleaseRobMe highlights issues of sharing updates online

A new Website reveals why it's not a good idea to let people know your every move.

PleaseRobMe aggregates public Twitter feeds that use Foursquare, a social networking game, to announce when users have left their homes.

PleaseRobMe aggregates public Twitter feeds that use Foursquare, a social networking game, to announce when users have left their homes.

A new Website with the tongue-in-cheek name "PleaseRobMe" seeks to highlight the potential danger of updating the world, via social networking sites, on your every move.

PleaseRobMe is really nothing more than a glorified Twitter search; it aggregates public Twitter feeds that use Foursquare, a social networking game, to announce when users have left their homes. The site reads like a Twitter feed with a sarcastic twist -- each entry has "@username left home and checked in about a minute ago:" before each Tweet. The site is constantly updated with "new opportunities," and you can filter the search results by location or Twitter username.

Foursquare is a game that allows users to "colonize" their city. It's typically "played" on a phone, and requires that users "check in" whenever they reach a destination (by updating the world on their whereabouts, via the Foursquare Website) in order to earn points and badges. Other incentives to "check in" include being named "mayor" of a certain place if you frequent the place more than any other Foursquare users. The title of "mayor" often comes with freebies, such as hotel stays, drinks, or discounts.

Unfortunately, as PleaseRobMe points out, updating Foursquare on where you are implicitly updates Foursquare on where you're not -- at home. "So here we are; on one end we're leaving lights on when we're going on a holiday, and on the other we're telling everybody on the internet we're not home," says the site.

The stated goal of the site is not really to promote burglaries, but rather to raise awareness about the dangers of over-sharing on public forums such as Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz, and Twitter.

While some may argue that it's no big deal for people to know you're not at home, since you're not saying where your home is, PleaseRobMe points out that other friends might be trying to "colonize" your home via Foursquare. And, of course, considering a lot of social networking sites do not pay much attention to your privacy unless you explicitly set privacy settings, it's very possible that your address is on the Internet somewhere.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitygoogle buzzsocial networkingtwitter

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sarah Jacobsson

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?