A peripheral glance earlier this week left an indelible mark on The Real Estate Lounge Chicago. Somewhere on google or yahoo was a reference to scheming thieves turning to your facebook account to gain a toehold on what's yours and making it theirs.
Without thinking at any great length this glimpse planted a seed and an idea took root. And what I came up with was how clever cretins could use new social technology to keep tabs on your updates when you leave your Chicago home and introduce themselves to your Gold Coast condo or Bucktown single family in your absence.
Think about it! While you are off in the hinter lands, grinning from the Eiffel Tower or awed by the Grand Canyon, posting to your facebook page or your twitter account about the pleasures of escargot in a foreign clime or the chasm caused by a river the rogue is jimmying open the back door of your Chicago home to take possession of your plasma tv.
Pretty much puts a dent in posting international or domestic travel itineraries away from your Chicago home for fear of being seen by the wrong eyes with even worse motives.
When I finally did track down the article that pushed the notion in the first place the idea was that techno-crooks are hacking sites like facebook and twitter to gain personal information akin to identity theft and using it to unsettle your life while economically enhancing theirs.
Not quite how I pictured it but yikes, the profit principle without a moral mooring.
For some strange reason the idea of a techno-skulker triggered me to ponder when Chicago home seekers turn to me as their realtor or the real estate listing agent and ask "Is this a safe neighborhood?"
As a Chicago real estate professional I can't answer as to the safety of say Chicago's Wicker ParkÂ or Edgewater neighborhoods. What I can and do answer, though, is that the asker practice care and discretion. Respect the city and be smart.
The same things holds true when it comes to facebook and twitter. Be smart.
Though a big barking dog and a state-of-the-art security system will also serve the cause.