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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blogging, Twitter, Privacy, and Security

One thing that many readers of my blog will notice is that I am posting all of our adventures in Spain to my blog after the trip has completed and we have returned home. This is a recent change in mindset for me and will continue to be a permanent personal policy around public announcement of our vacations and travels. That policy is that I will not either pre-announce travel plans or document travels while I am away from home on my blog or through Twitter.

From my point of view, it’s not the smartest thing to do from a personal privacy and security standpoint.

I made the decision some months ago around this policy as well as some other things that I will not choose to post here. And as time goes on and articles (like this one) come out around what posting certain things open you up to, it is just not worth the risk to me.

If you have either a public blog or post publicly on Twitter, I would ask you to consider a similar policy.

Think about least.

Take for example the vacation aspect...because; in effect you are announcing to the entire world that you are not home and will not be home. And regardless, whether or not you have an alarm on your apartment or house; or even a house sitter – is that something you really want to announce publicly?

While I am sure all of your readers and followers are good natured and have great intentions – how hard is it to Google a few blogs, or troll Twitter to find some folks that are out of town or on vacation? How much harder do you think it is for them to find out your address, phone number, or other information about you – even if you have an unlisted number, address?

And, if you feel compelled to share your adventures as they are happening in real-time, there are some great forums for that. A couple of options that immediately come to mind include:

- Facebook, assuming you tightly control your list of friends, which I do. (This is the method I use)
- Twitter, if you have a smaller, private list where you’re not blasting out your tweets to the entire world.

Again, I just encourage you to think about around having a personal policy on posting when you are out of town whether it is the right thing for you and your family. I know for now that it is just not for me.