A central part of modern life with dangers

modern life
© Tobias Knoepfli |

Social media is a central part of modern life, writes Rufus Caldecott, operations analyst at the security and intelligence agency. Blackstone advice but there are dangers, he warns

Social media is a central part of modern life. It is used to keep in touch with friends and family members and to keep track of current affairs and "trendy" incidents. There is nothing wrong with that on the surface. We would never advise people to completely reject social media in the 21st century. However, there needs to be a debate about its use, overrun and dangers for children for whom this is the norm and for older generations who adapt and get used to it.

Why is oversharing a problem?

There can be no doubt that people will overwrite information on social media. These can be parents who reveal information about their children, who have self-compromising photos of their parents' house on Instagram, or family photos that are published during their vacation. This is particularly easy for younger people of the millennial and generation Z. These generations are immersed in the use of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Since the basic ethos of social media is to connect people globally, it is now the norm to share open information about our lives and to publish pictures and family information in the open world of the Internet.

Celebrities and Vloggers

Especially among celebrities and YouTube vloggers, it has become a trend to use platforms like Instagram and YouTube to demonstrate luxurious lifestyles. Whether you're posting a picture of your Louis Vuitton bag or sharing a live stream video of your family in a restaurant in Mallorca, you're unintentionally targeting potential burglars. And an innocent mistake that shows that you are abroad provides a burglar with solid information that the right time to strike has come.

Reports of this are becoming more common. Forbes magazine recently wrote about the Miami-based crime ring Xandi Garcia, which stole jewelry worth up to $ 1.7 million. Their approach was to identify goals on Instagram that usually shared their “lavish lifestyle”. According to Independent, a 2018 study by home decorator Hillary & # 39; s found that one in twelve British citizens reported a break-in after sharing details of their vacation on social media.

Foreign danger

Another problem that is particularly important for young children is the fact that contact with strangers is so easy. This has opened up opportunities to make "friendships" online without knowing the person on the other end. This ranges from intimate relationships to dating apps to online forums and fan sites. While this has certainly not destroyed traditional human relationships, it has become an alternative method of socialization.

However, you could easily fall victim to a "catfish" or someone who creates an artificial identity on social media. Catfish often try to establish close online ties or simply win the trust of their victims, especially vulnerable people like naive children or less experienced members of society. Their motivations vary and are often malicious. They can use their alias to extract compromising information from a victim, which they can then use for crimes such as credit card fraud, extortion, and extortion. However, the most insidious method is often used by sexual predators and child abusers. A current example of this is the Northern Irish student Alexander McCartney. By attracting and blackmailing children between the ages of ten and twelve, he was able to get 45,000 indecent photos of his victims. The trial continues.

Focus on cyber security in Europe

Improving resilience to the increasing digitalization of society is just one of the goals mentioned in the EU Manifesto of the European Organization for Cyber ​​Security (ECSO). The call for a comprehensive European cybersecurity strategy and industrial policy with the support of a stronger digital awareness and a stronger digital education is clearly an important goal for the ECSO staff, without a doubt also for its Secretary General and founder Luigi Rebuffi.

Regarding Luigi Rebuffi, it should be noted that he contributed to the establishment of ECSO, which today is the private counterpart to the European Commission in the implementation of the public-private partnership (cPPP) on cybersecurity. Today, ECSO brings together several European actors in the field of cybersecurity in the member states of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the countries that are part of the EU framework program for research, Horizon 2020.

Finally, we read more about what they are doing on the ECSO website: “The main goal of ECSO is to develop a competitive European cybersecurity ecosystem, to support the protection of the European digital single market with trustworthy cybersecurity solutions and to help further develop the European digital ones Autonomy. "


The digital age clearly has its advantages: We can make bank payments on the go, log into our emails and online shopping accounts and pay at the push of a button. However, if it is easy for the end user, there is a possibility for the malicious actor. The use of open Wi-Fi networks for private or confidential purposes should be avoided. All network traffic can be absorbed so that an image of people and their habits can be created, which can lead to identity theft or fraud.

Another problem is the use of smart home devices. While 46% of the UK population has smart home devices, people are increasingly concerned about whether these devices are hacked and used to invade privacy in one form or another. It is also significant that Amazon's former CEO Robert Frederick recently admitted to the BBC that he turns off his “Alexa” device when discussing private matters. It is now generally believed that Amazon, Google and Apple receive records of their customers' purchases of smart devices for marketing reasons. What Do Malicious Actors Collect?

These are all things that people should consider. We should all think more carefully about our online footprint, the way we use the Internet, and the potential impact. It is clear that information about most of us will be available online. The key message is to manage this and ensure that we don't compromise ourselves through unnecessary risks.

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