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How much information is too much?

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How much information is too much?

Postby balzaccom » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:58 pm

Last year we learned about a very sophisticated group of thieves who were subscribing to all the latest environmental newsletters to see who had installed new solar energy systems. It was basic market research, because within weeks the thieves would then visit the new installation and cart the whole thing away. Not nice, and happily that group was arrested and put out of business.

But that's the reason that we never announce when and where we are taking our next backpacking trip. We're happy to tell you all about it once we have returned, but the Internet is just a bit too public a place for us to announce that our house is going to be uninhabited for certain dates. We've had people ask us the question, and we always demur.

And yeah, we have neighbors who check on things. but even so. These days you can't be too careful.
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:04 pm

so, where and when are you going next? :D
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby IncredibleHuck » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:35 pm

balzaccom wrote:Last year we learned about a very sophisticated group of thieves who were subscribing to all the latest environmental newsletters to see who had installed new solar energy systems. It was basic market research, because within weeks the thieves would then visit the new installation and cart the whole thing away. Not nice, and happily that group was arrested and put out of business.

But that's the reason that we never announce when and where we are taking our next backpacking trip. We're happy to tell you all about it once we have returned, but the Internet is just a bit too public a place for us to announce that our house is going to be uninhabited for certain dates. We've had people ask us the question, and we always demur.

And yeah, we have neighbors who check on things. but even so. These days you can't be too careful.


Very interesting take. Never thought of that before.
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby jessegooddog » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:59 am

Remember back in the 50s when your car registration, with your address, had to be in plain site in the window? Wasn't it a rash of robberies to vacationers, especially at Disneyland, that changed this?
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:38 am

I always post clearly on my social networking site that I am going, and where. And also post pictures of my Rottweilers, and the big strong boyfriend that's staying home to feed them. His gun collection is proudly displayed on the wall behind him and his uniform neatly folded on the table.... And of course I have him show off the bars on the windows.

:rolleyes:

I really have nothing anyone wants. I've had my apartment broken into while I was at work one day - they took a jar of quarters I had for laundry money, a beat down old stereo, and an old tube TV. Now I take my iPod with me and watch TV on my old computer screen (they didn't bother with the computer, it's so old).
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby no2haven » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:26 am

I don't worry about it too much on forums like these...it'd be a lot more work than most thieves would be willing to do to figure out who I am, where I live, and that I'm a worthwhile score from a post that says "heading out to Darwin Canyon and Evo Canyon via Lamark Col for 5 days starting Sunday, can't wait!" (which I'm not, by the way, so don't get any ideas).

I do moderate myself on facebook, however, as the barrier for discovery is much lower. Granted, I moderate myself a lot on facebook to begin with (I pretty much only backpacking/vacation photos there) and have privacy settings locked down as much as possible to begin with. But in general, its still not a major worry.
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby hiker00 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:42 pm

I try not to announce when I will be out, but I also have someone that is at home all the time. Many years ago I had an employer who asked the employees to never tell anyone over the phone that they were out of town or on vacation, and I have followed through with this over the years. Unless I really know the person on the phone I never announce to anyone that a fellow employee is on vacation or out of town.

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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:39 pm

I guess I don't worry about such things too much. For one, I can't really think of anything in my house that is worth stealing--although I might set some booby traps around my home brew.

The one time I had something major ripped off while away was on an 'unannounced' trip (to Fresno when I lived in Hayward). I returned to find my 1979 Corolla (with 200k miles) stolen from right out in front of my house. It was found a couple of days later in East 'O with its four tires removed (the 4 Michelins were probably worth more than the remainder of the car).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby Cloudy » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:55 pm

While not posting your trip date on this esoteric forum might be classified as a bit extreme, your concern is not misplaced. Posting info on "social networking" sites such as Facebook is always fraught with danger since you never know if friends/acquaintances/hangers-on/kids of your "Facebook Friends" may see your posts with pictures of your house, your family, your car, your stuff etc. Perhaps your Facebook Friends aren't whom they appear to be. I seem to remember something about Facebook posts being used to help with burglaries in this area. I work for a law enforcement agency and we have caught any number of idiot, gang-banging taggers when they post proud pictures of their work on Facebook so I guess it works the other way around also. The fact is that the more information that you post in cyberspace, the more chance you have of coming to the attention of either criminals or Big Brother...

In any case, I don't think that you should be advertising anything to people you don't know. For instance, I don't believe that it's a good idea to put stickers on your car advertising your interests such as belonging to the NRA, or Bass Masters or whatever because you hint that there may be goodies in your vehicle to steal. It happens. If your car is accessible to the public, you can be assured that thieves walk by it at anytime of the day or night and as they tend to operate on the "I saw it, I wanted it, I stole it" principle, NEVER leave anything remotely attractive to to them in your vehicle.

I wouldn't post photos of your boyfriend's gun collection etc. because if I were wanting guns for my gang, I can see that you have what I want and that we'll have to bring something to cut the bars or perhaps we'll just kick in the door and we'll have to make sure we bring something to kill the dog and man. It's like a twisted Home Shopping Network. Too much personal information is a bad thing IMHO. I am not trying to sound like an alarmist - well perhaps I am but you should be aware that there are MANY more criminals running around loose than you may think and honestly, druggies really DO steal to support their habits and they DO NOT care about you or your family. Criminals really DO walk by your car and say "I want a GPS, I'll steal yours". You can try to protect yourself by using your head to sort out what people that you do not know really need to see - whether information on the Internet or items in your car. Off my soapbox :)
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby windknot » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:16 am

Hi Cloudy,

Good points. However, unless I'm vastly misinterpreting a rolling eyes smiley, I believe AlmostThere was joking about the thing with the boyfriend/guns/bars. :)

I don't leave any trace of my whereabouts publicly, whether backpacking or otherwise. I do leave detailed itineraries with family/girlfriend, especially when hiking solo.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby Jimr » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:10 am

On Cloudy's point regarding stickers. I used to do a lot of beach diving and for that reason, I never had any sort of dive stickers on my vehicle for the very reason mentioned above. Stickers advertised that if the vehicle is parked at the beach, then there's a good possibility of dive gear in it and would be unattended for awhile.
What?!
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Re: How much information is too much?

Postby Cloudy » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:27 am

@windknot: I saw the smiley but still wasn't sure of the intent so I ranted on anyway : :)
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