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Fears for safety of Royal couple, after tweets reveal exact details of New Zealand tour

You would like to think, by 2014, we had all learnt to be more careful about what we share on social networks.

After all, in the past, many social networking users have tripped up unwisely revealing their future plans, their private photographs or their whereabouts.

Sometimes it can be simply a social snafu which leaves a person red-faced through embarrassment, but with no real harm done. But other times, things can turn more serious – such as when a British TV soap starlet was confronted in her home by armed robbers after she told her Twitter followers that her boyfriend was away for the night.

Clearly, we all have a responsibility for our personal security online. But what happens when *someone* *else* reveals information about us on social networks that could – potentially – put us and our family at risk.

That’s a question being asked today, after the British press spotted that precise details of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s trip to New Zealand had been posted on Twitter.

The official Twitter account of the Governor-General of New Zealand, the Queen’s representative in the country, has been awash with tweets in the last few days not only giving precise timings of William and Kate’s movements, but also where the best vantage points will be.

TRHs arrive at the Military Terminal, Wellington Airport at 11.45am. But round the bays is the best spot to see them!

I don’t know anything about the security and protection offered to the Royal family and specifically the heirs to the British throne, but I am surprised to see the great detail offered via Twitter, including maps of the routes that the young couple will take.

And I’m not alone. The Mirror spoke to Dai Evans, a former head of Royal Protection at the Metropolitan Police, who blustered his astonishment to the tabloid newspaper, describing the tweets as a “manual” for terrorists, “nutters” and “fixated people” hoping to harm them.

Just imagine that, “nutters” and “fixated people” showing an unhealthy interest in the British Royal family? Who would have thought it?

“I’m appalled at the idiocy of any idiot who would publish this far in advance both route and location.

“It is seriously worrying and I’m frankly amazed that anyone is doing it. I’ve never known anything like it in 20 years.

“I find it almost unbelievable someone would do this. It’s a manual and it goes against anything I believe in. Appalled is the word.”

So, the message is – once again – be careful what you tweet. And, if you are fortunate enough or famous enough to have people tweeting about you, I hope they have enough common sense to be careful too.

About the author

Graham CLULEY

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s, having been employed by companies such as Sophos, McAfee and Dr Solomon's. He has given talks about computer security for some of the world's largest companies, worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Graham Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and was given an honorary mention in the "10 Greatest Britons in IT History" for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security.

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