The Tale of the Foursquare Stalker

Most people who know me know that I love social media – I’m generally one of the first to jump on and try things out. Facebook, buzz, foursquare, twitter, hotspots – you name it. Today I came across this article from a like-minded soul in the US, Shea was Foursquare stalked. It’s something I’ve wondered about, there’s an inherent danger in letting the whole world know where you are and something entirely creepy and horrible about being stalked. It doesn’t make you feel good – it makes you feel vulnerable and that’s a ghastly feeling.

Read the full story here and then read on for a few tips to protect yourself from Foursquare stalkers.

  • Don’t tell the whole story. You don’t need to tell everyone exactly where you are at any minute of the day, you can leave out some venues.
  • Save up and post later – unless you’re there specifically to meet strangers or it’s a venue even your mum would have a hard time spotting you in, check in to it just as you’re leaving or, even better as you reach the next venue, or once you get home.
  • If you’re stalked, get the guy’s details – get his phone number and then call the police!
  • Never ever ever give out your own phone number, address or that of your friends/family to an online place. Ever.
  • If you want to check in at home, as many do, set up your home so that it’s either in a big block of flats, or somewhere not actually your own home – have the map point to the middle of the river, or the shopping centre or some other such place, never have the pointer showing the world where home actually is.
  • Live a virtual life – check in in wild and exatic places that you’ve no way of getting to, make it your fantasy life – the net result is that you’ll be polluting your lifestream with erroneous information, making it harder to stalk you.
  • Above all, remember that everything you say and do online is public.
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