Take a holiday from Twitter and beat the baddies

Blabbing your movements in minute detail online is a bit daft

Share

When I was little, one of the last things my dad would do before we went on our holidays (after packing his 10 different daily vitamins but before we started singing “Eviva Espana” with the words changed to reflect that year’s destination) was to write addresses on all of our luggage tags.

But he would never write our home address, instead putting the details of his office. That way, no sharped-eyed burglar or check-in clerk with criminal tendencies would be able to ascertain that we were off to Minorca for a fortnight and ransack our home. 

Speaking of fools, I can’t imagine my dad suffering gladly the celebrities who broadcast their holiday plans on social media. That’s partly because about the only person he follows on Twitter is Caitlin Moran – AKA the journalist daughter he wishes he had – but if he had read Jessie J’s recent tweets, including, “Wow what an amazing welcome to Malta at the airport! It’s so beautiful and hot and my heartbeats here”, he’d point out that this was like putting out a welcome mat and a refreshing drink for the burglars.

Which is essentially what jungle failure and tabloid favourite Helen Flanagan did last month when she announced online that she was home alone, only to be locked in a utility room by armed intruders who relieved her of a number  of belongings.

It’s timely, then, that on Friday, the film The Bling Ring was released. It tells the story of a gang of light-fingered teens who used celebrities’ status updates to track their whereabouts and find out when the coast was clear to break into their homes and trouser their tchotchkes. Paris Hilton, one of the gang’s victims, played herself in the movie. I suppose for her, this cloud did have a silver lining.

As the summer holidays approach, we can all learn something from this. Blabbing your movements in minute detail online is a bit daft. Mark Shaw of security firm ADT certainly thinks so.

Criminals are waking up to the fact that famous social-media users are making themselves easy targets,” he says.

And, as my dad knew way back in the Eighties, in that innocent time before social media, broadcasting personal deets gives the baddies a chance to strike.

“The warnings to the rich and famous apply just as much to ordinary people who might be putting too much personal information on social networking sites,” says Mr Shaw.

So whether you’re a civilian or a star, leave the boasting to postcards and have a holiday from Twitter if you want a safe summer.

Twitter.com: @rebeccaj

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Langley James : Field Support Engineer; Dynamics, SQL; Manchester, £33k+Car

£33000 - £36000 per annum + Car+Laptop+Phone: Langley James : Field Support En...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planning MRP Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's most progressive and innovativ...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Sales Executives

£19000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to our clients continuing s...

Recruitment Genius: Tyre Technician / Mechanic

£15000 - £16800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Tyre Technician / Mechanic is...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

David Cameron’s immigration speech: I broke my promise; this time will be different

John Rentoul
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game  

Manchester was ahead of the pack in honouring Alan Turing

Simon Kelner
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game