Monday, November 30, 2015

The Personal Dangers of an Irresponsible, Online Social Life

Care must be exercised when working online.








There are two aspects to social media life that have definite links to crime. The first one, and I believe the most important, relates to victimization due to the indulgence of too much personal information over social media networks.
The second relationship is your
postings on social media and how they might implicate you in crimes--at least it can show propensity to certain psychological traits that may be subject to criminal actions. This information can be used against you in a court of law.

The Danger of Too Much Personal Information

If you stand back and look at what others are posting on Facebook, Google+, and others, you have to wonder whether they are really thinking about what they are doing. When some people go to the mall to shop, as in the holiday season, they invariably take pictures and make comments while they are out using their mobile device. Now listen, how many criminals out there are reading those postings?
If I were a criminal, I'd make these specific people an intense study. Once I knew who they were, I'd find out where they live, I'd get their cell number, and I'd keep a close eye on their routines. When the time seems right, I'd sit nearby and monitor Facebook so I'd know when they are gone and when they are headed back. In the mean time, I and my criminal buds would pay their home a visit--one the social media victim would never forget.

Social Media and Self Incrimination

Now, where social media becomes a means of self incrimination. Believe it or not, people that commit crimes many times have to brag about their capers. That goes for young kids as well as some older criminals. Take for example the case of teenage girls posting of video on social media of them roasting a kitten in a microwave (see video below).

I'm sure they didn't think it was so cool once the police arrested each one of them for the crime they so maliciously committed against an innocent, living animal.
Who's next, one of their little brothers?

The Dangers of High-Tech Gadgets and too Much Social Media

All of this leads me to the next thought... perhaps social media and the high-tech gadgets we've come to enjoy, depend on, and live by are somehow causing us to lose sight of the things that should matter the most to us. The next video, which is a TED Talk video on YouTube, accents just that.

In conclusion, social media is a great means of personal communication and the high-tech gadgets we use on a daily basis are also great tools for both personal enjoyment and business use, but we need to think about what we're doing when we post personal information.
Ask yourself this one question, "If there's a criminal out there watching me, is what I'm about to post going to enable them to harm me, my family, or my home?"
We use to hear "drink responsibly" in liquor commercials, but now we should be hearing, "post responsibly" where it pertains to our online social lives.
Al Colombo

For the serious researcher:
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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Crime and Crime Prevention During the Holiday Season

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The Holiday Season means many things to many people. For most of us, it means family fun, parties with friends and co-workers, and gifts galore. Unfortunately, it also can mean a rise in crime in your neighborhood.

There are four main holidays during December:

  1. Christmas
  2. Hanukkah
  3. Kwanzaa
  4. New Years
During December crime rates climb the closer we get to Christmas Day. It does so because more and more people are being victimized by criminals who may not have committed an ill deed if it were not for lack of work, insufficient income, and an inability to buy gifts and food for their families. Although we all feel bad for those who lack the money to have a good Christmas, we must endeavor to protect our own interests by doing whatever we can to stop crime before it even happens.
"Unfortunately our criminals may not have the money to go get Christmas presents for their families so they find illegal ways of doing that," said Bryan Police Department Public Information Officer Kelley McKethan. (http://bit.ly/1MY1PDF)
The primary focus in this regard is the presence of gifts in your home, in your car, and the money you carry in your wallet or purse.
“It only takes ten seconds for someone to smash your window and grab those items and leave,” said McKethan. “If someone does confront you, then comply with their demands and be a good witness. If you can, try and remember what they look like, if they have tattoos, or what they were wearing so you can give police a description that may lead to an arrest.” (http://bit.ly/1MY1PDF)
The issue here is "opportunity." If you give people an opportunity to take what is yours by leaving packages and gifts sitting in plain view in the backseat of your automobile, someone's going to see them and be tempted to take them in any way possible. As officer Kelley McKethan said, they will break a window, unlock your door, and remove your gifts in record time without anyone being the wiser.

The same is true of your home. Do you leave your drapes open for the world to peer in? Do you leave gifts strewn across the kitchen table without closing your drapes and then go away for hours on ending shopping for more? Do you have a quality, monitored alarm system in your home, in your automobile? Perhaps you should consider buying one before the holidays arrive.

Personal Risks During the Holidays

The gifts you buy that you left in the backseat of your car and those you left sitting all over the kitchen table with the drapes open are not the only thing at risk here. You, yourself, may very well be targeted while on the street, in the mall, in a parking lot, in a store. Many victims are targeted simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but there's more.

Victims do not become victims without some help on their own part. Criminals do choose their victims carefully as they do not want to run the risk of running into one that may have the propensity to defend themselves, to fight back and perhaps subdue them so they are caught by police. They watch how you walk, how you hold your head, what you look at, how you act, and how you interact with others.

I've put together a great holiday crime prevention resource for you consisting of many dos and don'ts offered by police departments and others across the nation. I provide referring links so you can actually visit each resource for additional information. This is in the form of a sizable PDF ebook of sorts. It's free for the asking by signing up below.

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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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