You may not realize it but a picture of your own home is very likely available on the Internet thanks to the popular Google Street View map program.
I’m a big fan of Google. They’ve done a great job or organizing the world’s information. All their tools and apps like Gmail, calendar and docs are fully functional and mobile. They seemed to have taken the fight out of technology with these tools.
Then, there is Google Street View. Zoom, rotate and pan through street level photos of cities around the world. I remember the day Google Street View came down my street. I live on a private dead end and they came right down my driveway. They got stuck trying to turn around and we had to move a car for them.
Then, a few months later there it was on Google Street View. It’s an ambitious attempt at mapping the world just like you were there yourself.
So how does this affect you? For one thing, it allows anyone anywhere to gain intelligence about your street, fences, gates, driveway and information about your home and in general scope out your neighborhood. Certainly someone can simply just drive–by and use a video camera or take pictures and Google Street View makes it even easier.
Now Google admits they messed up a little. An ambitious Google Street View engineer plugged some code in their data collection process that they planned on using to collect data on “Public Wi-Fi Hotspots”.
The code pulled more the just hotspots. There could have been enough data pulled to steal someone’s identity.
Protect yourself by making sure your wireless router is protected with a password.
When you have an unsecured wireless connection, it’s just like leaving the front door to your home open and inviting the world to come inside to take a peek.
Google says its Street View cars will stay in park until the problem is fixed.