A security firm in the U.K. has come up with a new product to help homeowners feel safe when they go out of town: Updating Facebook statuses to make it look like they’re sitting in your living room.
England-based Precreate Solutions, a security company providing services like 24-hour security guards and surveillance, claims many of their clients have had their properties broken into after announcing holiday plans on Facebook or Twitter, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The company’s new service will use pre-approved messages and schedule them to be sent while the client is away.
Sure, it would be bad form to take a picture of yourself at the beach with your home address in the caption, but isn’t that a universally-recognized “duh?”
I also think it’s safe to say the absence of a vacation post doesn’t signify you’re not home. It probably means you’re just busy, working long hours, or, I don’t know, just not broadcasting your life through status updates.
A robber with the kind of intel who could tell out-of-country users from plain, boring-’ol-busy users would probably be better off robbing banks or museums or something a little more high profile.
Not to mention the fact that tools like HootSuite or Sendible have, for years, allowed users to schedule posts whenever they want, both on Twitter and Facebook. For free.
It’s up to the social media user to figure out what is appropriate to post and what isn’t. Because anyone who’s active on Facebook knows it isn’t a tight-knit college community anymore where you can freely tell poop jokes and swap phone numbers.
Bottom line: If you’re going out of town, don’t advertise it freely, don’t mention the dates you’ll be gone on your wall or a photo caption or any other place that’s publically viewable, and don’t, for the love of God, post your address anywhere on Facebook. It’s not 2004 anymore, folks.
Readers, would you consider paying for a third party to post Facebook status updates for you while you’re away from home?