I’m out of town!

When I joined LinkedIn, it was because it was BUSINESS-like and so un-Facebook. As much as I like LinkedIn, it is becoming too much like Twitter and Facebook. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that LinkedIn features are being used in the same casual manner.

I was surprised that several of my connections are broadcasting the location and date of their trips via the My Travel application. On the surface, I really don’t care where they are going and why (or about their tweets regarding what the airline is serving onboard). But looking deeper, why do fellow auditors, information security staff, and privacy specialists (who should know better) want to advertise they’re out of town? Do they not have any family or property that needs protection? Why throw caution to the wind and invite trouble just to appear cool?

I realize that most people’s LinkedIn accounts are configured to allow only their connections to see their My Travel postings, but few LinkedIn users connect ONLY with those they know personally. Even some of my connections are people who I’ve only emailed or talked to on the phone and never met. While I’m connected to over 200 people, I certainly don’t trust or know all of them well enough to entrust my travel plans to them. Or to think they’d even care.

Furthermore, the Network Updates feature of LinkedIn is becoming annoying. Most people keep the “update” fairly business-oriented, but the flavor has started to change (perhaps due to people having more time due to layoffs?). One of my contacts recently noted that she was “Interviewing for VP position today.” Hopefully, if she gets the job, she’ll announce her starting salary and sign-on bonus.

Also, why is it important to “update” everyone regarding the SANS class you’re attending today? Again, it sounds cool and may impress some people (recruiters?), but the proof is in the product of their work, not the class (and yes, I’ve attended one).

One person I’m connected to recently “updated” that she is manipulating a common Windows tool (provided as part of the OS) to crash processes on her computer so that she can avoid being monitored on her work laptop by pre-installed software. Now that’s interesting, especially since she said it in 29 words. And no, there’s no ethics violation as she is a get-out-of-jail card-carrying security researcher–that’s her job.

Her update tells me a lot more about her than a trip to Toledo, and it beats a SANS class by an instructor or two (not counting Lenny Z).

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