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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Yvette Cooper campaigning in London at the launch of Labour’s women’s manifesto  

I want the Labour Party to lead a revolution in family support

Yvette Cooper
Liz Kendall  

Labour leadership contest: 'Moderniser' is just a vague and overused label

Steve Richards
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine