You’ve all heard of “never kiss and tell.” Well today we’re talking about “never click and tell.” That is this week’s theme from the National Cyber Security Alliance. What does “never click and tell” mean? It means to be careful about what you post on social media and where you “check-in.” This has both cyber and physical security aspects to it.
Criminals today are getting smarter and learning new ways to find out more about their potential victims. The main method that criminals are using to stalk their victims is social media. Criminals will look for routines, geo-location on photos or posts, check-ins, where family members are (school events, workplace, etc.), and even when someone is on vacation. This will help the criminals determine the best time to break into the house when it’s vacant or when a certain family member is alone and easy to rob/kidnap/whatever it may be. I know this is all scary stuff to think about and not something we want to acknowledge could happen to us, but it could.
In Boone and the surrounding areas including Ames this last year, there were a string of home invasions leading up to an armed robbery. The two young adults (both 19 years old) who were doing these invasions were looking up some of their victims on their unsecured social media profiles to plan what, where and when invade homes. They were both arrested and are now sentenced to over 30 years in jail. So this stuff happens.
Another case of social media related crime involves identity theft. Victims often have Personally Identifiable Information (PII) posted publicly on their social media accounts that were used to help verify their identity even though it was a bad guy doing it. This information includes full name, full birthday (month, day, year), home address, and in some rare cases even driver’s license numbers or social security numbers.
Here is what you can do to secure your social media posts:
If you would like to learn more about your social media security visit StaySafeOnline.org to view their free resources for you and your family.