I recently hosted a lunch and learn session about our Social Media Investigations (SMI) product currently offered by ISB, for my young millennial colleagues. The purpose of the course was twofold; to educate them about our state of the art product, and to secretly highlight how critically important it is for them to manage what they post on social media.
As my colleagues start their careers, it is imperative that they understand that anything posted, can be found quite easily – so early vigilance is essential. Our resident certified Cyber Intelligence Expert, Frank Cutruzzola, walked them through how public social media sites are growing at an astronomical rate (i.e. YouTube has 2.78MM hits per minute).
The new world of SMI goes far deeper than a manual Google search. It is an automated electronic deep web search, similar to an iceberg that extends beyond the surface. With just a name, cell number, email address, or employer name, these automated searches can provide global 24/7 surveillance of all social media sites – which is much more efficient than some poor soul sitting at his/her desk doing manual searches. In additional, keywords can also be used such as specific hobbies, aliases, etc. It is scary how much personal information is available on public media sites such as Craigslist, eBay, TripAdvisor, etc. to name a few.
Frank also reminded them that despite the fact that they may put privacy settings on their social media sites, if friends and acquaintances tag them in their unprotected social media sites, then it becomes public domain.
There were a few in the class quickly checking their smartphones as they left the seminar and I suspect everyone is now considering where and what they have posted.
Now I have the task of explaining this to my twelve-year-old niece who just received her first smartphone…with much enthusiasm. Oh dear!