Dealing with Online Harassment

I was watching Back to the Future II with a little person in my life and thought how funny it was that every time McFly was called a chicken he would accept the challenge and throw up his dukes. Maybe it’s funny to me because I’m kind of like McFly. When someone tosses out an insult or a challenge or baits me, my teeth come out and I’m ready for battle. I can’t help myself; I’m half Italian American and half German shepherd (and I’m not sure which half is worse).  Constructive feedback is one thing, but insults and attacking me is another.

I think most people at some level have a hard time with being mocked or personally castigated online or on the ground.  My mom used to say if you ignore them they will eventually go away. There is truth to that but it is easier said than done. Today’s advice might be to R.I.D yourself of the perp. That’s Report-Ignore-Delete.

Social networks are a minefield of messy comments and accusations that can invade your personal security. Anyone can set up a profile of someone else or post photos and videos or say awful things. The best thing you can do is simply manage things said about you.

To report someone on Facebook go to their profile and seek out in the bottom left corner “Report/Block this person” and you can remove them too. All sites allow you to remove those you are connected to.

Any Groups or pages that are designed with harassment in mind can be reported.

You can’t stop someone from posting a photo of you but you can remove any tags associated with photos on Facebook. If you see pictures that are harmful report them.

Most sites allow you to delete stuff on your feed or at least control who/what can be posted.

Most sites allow you to restrict access to your profile using various privacy settings

In email if you receive harassing messages most email providers allow blocking senders in the options menus. Otherwise create filters and automatically delete them. There is no need to engage in hate. Ignoring them by never seeing them is best.

You can also block text messages from unwanted callers. Why even give them the time of day. Ignore them and visit your carrier for instructions.

Monitor your children’s online profiles. Friend them to keep tabs. There are numerous programs that allow you to get snapshots of your kids social media activity. If you decide to install them have a conversation with your kids so they know why.

If any threats are ever made or harassment is taken to a level that deems a call to law enforcement, don’t hesitate to make the call.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.

Toddler Used As Decoy in Burglaries

A confidence trick or confidence game (also known as a bunko, con, flim flam, gaffle, grift, hustle, scam, scheme, swindle or bamboozle) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. The victim is known as the mark, the trickster is called a confidence man, con man, confidence trickster, or con artist, and any accomplices are known as shills. Confidence men or women exploit human characteristics such as greed and dishonesty, and have victimized individuals from all walks of life.

Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing certain actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access; in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victim.

Call them con men, grifters, scammers, or thieves. Or simply call them liars. Lying is what they do best. They stare you in the eyes and lie through their teeth. They do it casually and with such conviction that we have no reason not to believe them. Their craft and skill is a remorseless trait called social engineering, which is also known as pre-texting.

Lying is a learned behavior. One day as children we stumble upon a situation, one that we created or were a party to, and we are confronted by someone in authority. Most likely mom, dad, or a teacher. We are asked a question and we respond with what we think they want to hear, as opposed to the truth. We lie. They believe us and we are relieved of the burden of truth’s consequences.

“They all thought they were helping a woman and her child, but Sanford police say the woman duped them. She cried wolf they said.

They said she knocked on four of her neighbors’ doors with a sob story. Twice she used her toddler to get into their houses. “She asked me ‘help, I need help. My car’s overheating. My baby’s suffocating,’” a victim. “I went into my room and I noticed that my jewelry box was open and everything was gone, I’m nervous. I sleep armed. I can’t sleep,” the unidentified victim said. “You feel stupid at first and you just wish the world wouldn’t be that way.”

Sometime the most effective way to penetrate the most secure system is through someone else’s good nature. It’s always important to help. And, it’s equally important to smell a rat.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams. Disclosures

Woman Suspect in Pot Stealing Home Invasion

It’s not often that I see “woman suspect” and “home invasion” in the same sentence. Home invasions are mostly done by Cro-Magnon men who are one step out of a cave and temporarily in society until they go back to jail. Police released a sketch of an armed woman accused of stealing two medicinal marijuana plants while a 19-year-old woman was home.

The report goes on to say it was two woman and two men, which makes a little more sense. All is right with the world again. The Mercury News reports the teen was in the bathroom at the time and was ordered to the ground and briefly held captive while the house was pillaged. They stole the pot plants as well as electronics.

The teen was not harmed. Luckily. The pot plants belonged to the teen’s mother, who is a medicinal marijuana card-holder.

California has led the charge to legalize weed for medical purposes. And many a quack provides medicinal marijuana cards to anyone who has even the slightest ailment.

A side effect of having the law past has led to many such crimes. Even though its semi legal, it’s still worth something substantial on the street. So if you tug on the whacky tabacky to sooth your aching whatever, it would probably be a good idea not to broadcast your prescribed pot.

Home invasions are best prevented by locking your doors all day and night and having a home security system installed and armed. Oh and on another note, if you have pot plants it’s probably not a good idea to have them in the window getting sun.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel. Disclosures.

Police Seek 2 Men, Woman in Stun-gun Robberies

A Stun gun or electromuscular incapacitation device when pressed against a human’s body causes a disruption in the electrical impulses of the nervous system.  When someone is “shocked” in the upper chest area where the arms meet the chest or the lower abdomen on the left or right sides and in the upper thighs, they may lose the ability to walk, talk or function normally.  Stun guns are considered non-lethal, which means they aren’t supposed to kill. However there have been situations where people have died when a stun gun was involved in subduing them.

Seattle police are searching for a trio of robbers responsible for daytime attacks on three women using stun guns.

In each case they were “crimes of opportunity. Crimes of opportunity generally mean the victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but what it really means is they were taken by surprise.

The women were going about their business and the robbers attacked them. One was pushed into her trunk then her purse stolen. Her wallet with her home address and her keys were stolen so her landlord changed her locks.

Another woman was followed home and while taking groceries out of her car was accosted by 2 men.

A third woman was in her driveway when she too was robbed when she heard the crack of a stun gun then fell to the ground hitting her head.

An attacker’s tool of trade is the element of surprise. They like to attack from behind when you aren’t paying attention. They also attack from the side or often use a distraction up front.  It’s easy to say all these attacks could have been prevented. But as they say, easier said than done.

By being fully aware of your surroundings you look less like a potential target.  When a bad guy stalks you, if they know you see them, they may move on to someone who they can easily surprise.

Always know what is going on behind you.

Be prepared for someone approaching and distracting you.

When pulling into your garage if you have the option shut the door behind you before you get out of your car.

When pulling into your driveway always look around your car before getting out.

Consider a home security alarm that also has home security cameras.  That same alarm equipped with a panic button can help you if you see someone paying unwanted attention. By hitting that panic button it sets off an alarm getting attention to the situation.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing non-lethal personal protection and home invasions on the Gordon Elliot show.