Flaunting Everything on Social Media – A Criminals Point of View

Some celebrities love to flaunt everything on social media without considering the consequences of it all. When will we learn to filter the content we provide on social media sites? When will we learn that our every movement, every thought, and every location visited doesn’t need to be shared via social media? Most importantly, why haven’t our senses warned us that sharing such information publicly could have devastating consequences? Today, as numerous newsfeeds continue to report that Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in a luxury residence in Paris and stripped of a box of jewelry worth millions, I am left to only wonder why wasn’t this the wakeup call we all needed?

Without having all the details as to where was her security, and why did she have so much jewelry in a box, I choose not to judge the situation based on my lack of information. I also choose not to point fingers at Kim for doing what so many of us do daily without a second thought. I do, however, choose to use this specific event to paint a clear picture from a criminal’s point of view.

First, she like many other public figures love to display their valuables on social media for entertainment value. A thief observing such a post only sees a potential mark. Instinctively, her senses should have alerted her to the risk of sharing such information, but most likely didn’t because social media has falsely convinced so many of us that sharing such information is harmless, when truthfully it is no different than someone informing the public that they have a safe in their house that has contents inside valuing $5,000,000 or more.

Second, what we believe to be a harmful photo quickly taken and shared on our smartphone, actually isn’t. A photo like this provides critical information via geotagging, which provides the exact location, date and time the photo was taken.  A thief easily obtains these coordinates from the photo by downloading a free geotagging app and uploading the photo to learn your potential position. Though this is actually enough information for anyone to get in close proximity to you, many of us freely share our exact location by “checking in” on social media and providing our position, for once again, entertainment value. Yes, it is possible to disable geotagging on your phone, but what about the photos celebrities take with fans who instantly tag it then post it to social media? A thief (or inappropriate pursuers) will use these additional photos to track your daily movements. You are at a restaurant having lunch now, and at the table next to you is a fan sneaking a photo then tagging and posting it on their page. Thief observes your new location. You stop to take a photo with another fan while out shopping who instantly tags and post it. Your location is now updated. You return to the hotel and take one last “innocent photo” with a fan and now the thief knows you are at the hotel because another harmless photo was posted. Again, this is no different than you shouting to the world the exact room your safe is located in that holds that five million dollars I discussed earlier.

Finally, and what alarms me most is posting photos of your private security person in hopes that doing so will be a deterrent. For a thief, this is vital information because with a simple stakeout outside your hotel, they will know when your valuable contents are no longer guarded as they see your security walk right out the front door. Remember that safe we discussed earlier where you shared its contents and location, you have now just shared that you have decided not to protect it.

As I plea with you in my new book, Return to Your Senses, stop sharing all your personal information for entertainment purposes. Stop letting the world know your every movement, and stop flaunting your riches on social media for the world to see and for thieves (and pursuers) to easily find and target you.

Ronald D. Eastman II
President & CEO
Eastman Protective Agency
Author- Return to Your Senses