Recall at least one of my early blog posts talking about Burglary, and how easy burglaries are to accomplish and the relationship to the information you make available to criminals that furthers their nefarious goals.
The Celebrity Home Invasion Trend
Well, it has been some time, the crimes continued, and recently included several very prominent celebrities. Often for repeated attacks.
This link includes videos from the news show.
For us normal people, we may not face the same attention that a rich person or a celebrity might, but when it happens to us, it is just as bad, maybe worse.
The binding issue in these cases is that the burglars used social media posts, related to the various victims, to determine when they would attack. In the case of sports figures, their travel schedule is an open book. You know when they are likely to be away from home. Similarly, entertainment stars may have social media posts or scheduled appearances that identify when they are away from the nest.
Do you advertise when you will be away from home? Rhetorical question, many of you do. Recently a retired Police buddy posted his vacation to Hawaii. Certainly, he didn’t make it public to everyone, but how secure are his posts on FaceBook? How secure are anyone’s posts? Even when sharing with friends, do you know and can guarantee that they won’t innocently post your vacation or out of town status? I posted my vacations as well…after I returned home.
In each of the celebrity cases, while there was some amount of scouting done by the bad guys, as in, knocking on doors and looking into windows, they knew they likely had free access to breaking into the houses. In most cases, given a little time watching your home, most homes become vacant of humans while you are working, going to school, out shopping, etc. The bad guys do not need a lot of time to ruin your life with damage, thefts, and violation of your privacy and property. That is the alternative to learning on social media that the cat is away.
People, we…you, need to take the danger and threat that social media, and the information that you put out there, presents to you. Is there some good in social media? Yeah, I am sure…I will leave that for you to insert your own opinions. But ultimately, bad guys use the low hanging fruit, to attack their victims. The low hanging fruit is the animal in the wild walking with a limp, exposing an injury…the predator sits and watches. And they go after the wounded. That equates to the distracted, the weak, the risk takers, and those away or not paying attention to their “Situational Awareness.”
See what I did there, Your Situational Awareness 101!
People, friends, Americans…I urge you to become more aware and strategic in your life’s everyday activities and movements. These are some key points to consider:
1. First, of course, your Social Media. Don’t put information out there that, if not carefully crafted and worded, will make you an available victim.
2. Second, be aware, what your surroundings, at home, office or school, when leaving any of those locations, when out socially, where you parked your car, the location (building, mall, etc.) that you enter and need to know how to get out in an emergency. Sitting at Starbucks or coffee shop of your choice, are you being watched? Studying at the library or your favorite alternate location, are you being watched? Driving virtually anywhere, are you being followed? The neighborhood you are entering or are in, do you know where you are, where you need to go and where you can go in an emergency? Do you have emergency items with you…i.e. cell phone, cell phone batteries or chargers, a small light, contact numbers, safety, and medical first aid kits?
3. Are you mindful when approached by persons you do not know, becoming social and asking personal information?
4. How about shared transportation, are you careful what car you get into, or where you sit on the bus?
5. Do you give critical and personal information to people on your phone?
6. Have you considered the alternate tools that you may be carrying with you, items that might serve as defensive/offensive tools? Examples might be your backpack or purse as a swinging tool, your keys as a jabbing or stabbing tool, a tightly rolled up magazine as a hand wielded tool? A hard pen or pencil?
7. Do you plan for possible bad things happening when you are out in the world? People shot at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, churchgoers shot by a man during an evening prayer event, a car purposely driven onto pedestrian walkways that might kill or injure you? There are so many things…but Seven feels like a lucky number!
Does such mindfulness seem paranoid to you? Well, people with a tactical operations background live with those various concepts in mind. The bad guy wants you to not be mindful and aware, he/she is waiting for you just around that next blind corner you are approaching. They are sitting on your street, in that car, watching comings and goings of residents…and you. They are roaming the malls looking for young boys and girls that are not under the direct protection of an aware adult.