Friday, 29 May 2009

Travel Safety

Half A Train

No, I'm not going to talk about train crashes (though it's hard to imagine what else could have caused half a carriage to be on the back of a lorry in the city centre). That would be far too depressing.

But I've heard a bit of debate recently on travelling safely, in particular how this relates to increased use of social media, so I thought I'd throw in my 2p.

With everyone now online around the clock and around the world, it's much easier to tell the world about your travels in real-time. This has obvious benefits - like being able to get restaurant tips through Twitter - but there are potential down-sides, too.

The big one is that blogs and Twitter are usually open - it's not like Facebook where only your friends can see your status. So in theory, anyone could find out you're away from home and (the argument goes) conclude that your house must be empty.

This post is scheduled to publish while I'm on the plane to Colorado. Am I worried about telling you this? Well, not really.

For one thing the house isn't empty - my husband is home, and even when we're both away, we usually make sure there's someone staying at our house most of the time. We don't just leave the place empty for weeks on end.

Secondly, I've been quite careful not to tell you exactly where I live (I'd prefer not to be stalked when I am at home!), so any burglar would have to search a pretty large area.

But thirdly, and most importantly, using blogs to identify temporarily-empty houses is simply inefficient. I think any burglar would find it more profitable to simply drive around looking - the way they've done for years.

That's my thought on the matter, anyway. Interested to hear your opinions in the comments - and if all goes well (and I can find an internet connection) I'll next be blogging from Boulder.


Diane said...

I'm with you (figuratively, of course). The only people in cyberspace who know exactly where I live (or what my last name is, even) are people who KNOW me -- my friends and family. And if they're going to rob me while I'm gone, well, I have bigger problems that being burgled, I think! :)

Save travels to you!!

GingerV said...

security at home is so dillusional anyway. I have to laugh at Camillo who says 'we lock out doors, deadblolt them up tight, put in alarm systems that monitor the doors and windows but in the states where the houses are made of wood and drywall all any interprising thief would have to do is take a buzz saw and make a 24x24in hole from outside to inside .... he has a point.

Chef E said...

What an interesting post R... I have thought the same thing while announcing about our trip, but now that is taken care of! Have a safe trip!

jenny2write said...

Think you are probably right but good idea not to give our your address anyway. Have you googled your name and address though? I did that once and was fed up to discover some PR firm had put all its contacts' details online. DUH. Enjoy Colorado! You're getting a load more travelling than I seem to be doing in my part time travel writer blog. Ridiculous.

Butler and Bagman said...

You make good points...and I agree that dedicated burglars just go around looking. I suspect that any burglar who starts his day on blogspot probably just gets interested in the blogs and starts writing one and forgets that he was a burglar.

Heather said...

I've always had a hard time getting worked up about people trying to get at my stuff because I figure they could make so much more money going after someone else. That being said, we're taking a trip to Chicago in a couple weeks. We'll be gone for 13 days and for the first time I'm a little anxious about leaving the house. We have always had pets before, therefore a pet/house sitter. This is the first time we'll be leaving without anyone staying in our house for at least most of the time we're gone. And with not having made a lot (read any) friends, we won't really have anyone keep an eye out or even know if we don't make it back. It's kind of a weird feeling. I'm sure everything will be fine, but I didn't realize how much peace of mind it gave me to have someone I could check with at my house.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on that.. I think burglars have more luck going around areas when it is holiday time and seeing which ones are empty.

Sarah said...

Totally agree. We've always had a house (cat, fish, plant) sitter and are careful not to give away our exact location.

By the way, I'm really enjoying your blog and wish you a wonderful trip and safe travels.

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