Criminals love social media because it is so easy for them to find their victims! To plan a crime such as robbery, kidnapping, rape, murder etc, they don't need to do anything except observing people's posts on facebook or instagram, where some people would themselves reveal their whereabouts, physical locations, travel plans, financial status etc. Social media provides criminals with a wealth of information and opportunities to target their victims for physical crimes. There are several ways in which criminals can use social media to target their victims for physical crimes:
- Gathering personal information: Criminals can use social media platforms to gather personal information about their victims, such as their location, daily routine, and personal interests. This information can be used to plan a crime, such as a robbery or abduction.
- Stalking: Criminals can use social media to stalk their victims and gather information about their movements and habits. They can also use social media to monitor their victims' activity and stay updated on their whereabouts.
- Luring: Criminals can use social media to lure their victims into a trap, such as by pretending to be someone they trust or offering a fake job opportunity.
- Impersonation: Criminals can use social media to impersonate their victims or create fake profiles to gather information about them. They can also use these fake profiles to communicate with their victims and gain their trust.
What kinds of social media posts by people help the criminals to plan a crime against their victim?
There are several types of social media posts that can help criminals plan a crime against their victim:
Posts revealing personal information: Posts that reveal personal information, such as a person's location, daily routine, or financial status, can be helpful for criminals planning a crime.
Posts about travel plans: Posts about travel plans, such as upcoming vacations or business trips, can provide criminals with information about when a person will be away from home and vulnerable to a crime.
Posts about personal events: Posts about personal events, such as birthdays or anniversaries, can provide criminals with information about when a person may be distracted or vulnerable to a crime.
Posts about personal interests: Posts about personal interests, such as hobbies or activities, can provide criminals with information about a person's habits and routines, which can be helpful for planning a crime.
Posts about relationships: Posts about relationships, such as being in a new relationship or having a strained relationship, can provide criminals with information about a person's emotional state and potential vulnerabilities.
Posts about partying or going out: Posts about partying or going out to bars or clubs may indicate that a person is prone to excess alcohol consumption.
Posts about drug use: Posts about drug use, whether directly or indirectly, may indicate that a person is vulnerable to substance abuse.
Posts about feeling stressed or overwhelmed: Posts about feeling stressed or overwhelmed may indicate that a person is seeking escape or relief through drug or alcohol use.
Posts about mental health issues: Posts about mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, may indicate that a person is using drugs or alcohol to cope with their emotions.
Posts about self-destructive behavior: Posts about self-destructive behavior, such as risky or dangerous activities, may indicate that a person is using drugs or alcohol to numb their emotions or cope with problems.
Not only new victims social media helps criminals to find new team mates too!
Criminals can drag a person into the world of crime by grooming them through social media or online chat. Grooming is a process in which criminals use manipulation and coercion to gain control over a person and eventually draw them into criminal activity. This can happen through social media or online chat, where criminals can build a relationship with their victim and gain their trust over time.
There are several ways in which grooming can occur through social media or online chat:
Pretending to be someone they are not: Criminals may pretend to be someone they are not, such as a peer or authority figure, in order to gain the trust of their victim.
Offering support and attention: Criminals may offer support and attention to their victim, making them feel special and valued. This can be particularly effective for victims who are seeking attention or are feeling lonely or isolated.
Gaining access to personal information: Criminals may ask for personal information or try to gather information about their victim through social media or online chat. This can help them build a relationship and gain the victim's trust.
Isolating the victim: Criminals may try to isolate the victim from their family and friends, making them more reliant on the criminal for support and connection.
Using emotional manipulation: Criminals may use emotional manipulation to control their victim, such as by playing on their emotions or using guilt or fear to keep them in line.
Grooming is a subtle and insidious process that can be difficult for victims to recognize and resist. It is important for individuals to be aware of the risks of social media and online chat, and to seek help if they feel that they are being groomed or manipulated.
Now why would criminals NOT love social media? But what's the solution? How should people, especially children stay safe from getting into the hands of a criminal?
The number one thing every Internet user needs is the proper knowledge about the purpose of various online platforms, such as:
- Content sharing websites or apps (Youtube, Slideshare etc),
- Social networking websites or apps (Instagram, Facebook etc),
- Professional networking websites or apps (Linkedin),
- Discussion forums and online communities (Quora etc)
- Blogging websites (Blogger, Medium etc)
- Chatting apps (Whatsapp, Snapchat)
- Online games (Roblox etc)
Then they need to understand how criminals take advantage of various features associated with these websites or apps, and the thumb rules of safe online behaviour. All of this knowledge basically comes from Digital Citizenship & Internet Maturity education.
iMature has created a powerful yet easy to remember mantra for online safety - FAST CAR & Secret Location
We strongly urge you to explore the mantra, memorize it and also ask your family members to learn it by heart. STAY SAFE!!