Posts

Another Rideshare Rape is an Epidemic

Women should never take a ride from a stranger because it’s dangerous – unless she’s paying the driver???

Wrong, of course. Uber and Lyft drivers provide paid rides to strangers as requested via the Uber and Lyft apps.

As of August 2018 WhosDrivingyou.org tallied the number at almost 400 rapes and probably stopped recording the sexual assaults because it has become so common. A quick Google search for “rideshare rape” pulls almost 7K results.

YeT another rideshare rape allegedly happened this week when an intoxicated woman was overcome by her driver. And before you blame the victim, JUST SHUT UP.

Almost the Perfect Crime

  • The predator has no problem getting a woman into his vehicle.
  • There’s an easy explanation for her DNA in the vehicle: the ride service.
  • She might be intoxicated, which is a common reason for hiring a rideshare service, and intoxication means vulnerability and lack of credibility.

Has the rideshare industry created a monster?

What makes rape even easier to get away with is if the passenger passes out from intoxication.

But by no means does this mean a predator should feel confident he could get away with his crime, such as Uber driver John David Sanchez, who got 80 years for ride-related sex crimes.

A CNN investigation revealed that at least 31 Uber drivers have been convicted of crimes such as rape as well as forcible touching.

On the other hand, CNN reported the case of an Uber driver who was accused by his fare of sexual assault. He claimed it was consensual; the charges were dropped.

CNN also reported that many of the women who were sexually assaulted by the over 100 accused drivers had been drinking or were drunk at the time of the alleged crimes.

A similar investigation of Lyft by CNN also revealed numerous sexual assault accusations.

What can a woman do?

  • Use Uber, Lyft (or a taxi service) only as a last resort, i.e., you can’t find someone you know to transport you.
  • Make sure you’re not impaired by any substances. This is a two-edged sword because an impaired person should not drive, either. If you’re convinced ahead of time you’ll be impaired, then arrange for a trusted friend to drive you home. If you can’t find someone, then reconsider your plan on getting wasted; is it worth it?
  • Arrange to use rideshare services with a companion.
  • Hire only female drivers.
  • Under no circumstances let a driver into your home.
  • Make sure your phone has a one-touch emergency alert button that will activate first responders who can home in on your location.

Don’t assume that just because someone works for Uber or Lyft that they’re safe. Though these companies do background checks, you have to consider that some predators have a clean record because they haven’t been caught (yet).

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Put the Stupid Phone Away! Pedestrian Deaths Rise

If you like taking an evening stroll, walking your dog, or even hitting the pavement for exercise sake, you could be putting yourself at risk according to a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The statistics are shocking; the report looked at how many pedestrians were killed by vehicles while walking in 2018, and it was not only a 4 percent increase from 2017, but the highest rate of death since 1990.

Why are these numbers rising? There are a couple of reasons. First, there are more SUVs and trucks on the road, and these vehicles are more likely to kill someone due to the weight and size. In fact, since 2013, the number of pedestrian deaths caused by SUVs has risen by 50 percent. Another reason for this is that people are not paying attention, both behind the wheel and on the pavement. Why? Smartphones. Alcohol was also to blame, as about half of the deaths reported in 2017 was caused by alcohol consumption by either the pedestrian, the driver, or in many cases, both. Of course, there is also the fact that the population has grown, so there are naturally more people out and about on the streets.

Population growth might not seem like a big deal, but the statistics show otherwise. When you look at the states that have had the highest population growth from 2017 to 2018, you also see that there is an increase of the number of deaths from pedestrians getting hit by vehicles. There has also been an increase in the number of people who are walking to work instead of driving when you look at statistics from 2007 to 2016.

The Governors Highway Safety Association also reports another unsurprising fact; the majority of these deaths are occurring after dark, and when comparing the number of pedestrian deaths during the day and at night, the nighttime deaths are rising quickly when compared to daytime deaths. When you look at the number of nighttime deaths between 2008 and 2017, there was an increase of 45 percent. When looking at daytime pedestrian deaths, there is also an 11 percent increase between those same years.

If you are looking for a safe place to walk around, consider New Hampshire. There was only one death in the first half of 2018. On the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths. Almost half of all pedestrian deaths in the United States occurred in Florida, Arizona, Texas, California, and Georgia. None of us should have to worry about crossing the street, and this might be a sign that it’s time to improve vehicle design and improvements to the road.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

15 Year Old’s Naked Photos Spread Like Wild Fire

https://safr.me/webinar/  | Robert Siciliano is the #1 Security Expert in the United States with over 25 years of experience! He is here to help you become more aware of the risks and strategies to help protect yourself, your family, your business, and your entire life. Robert brings identity theft, personal security, fraud prevention and cyber security to light so that criminals can no longer hide in the dark. You need to be smarter than criminals yesterday so that they don’t take advantage of you today! If you would like to learn more about Security Awareness, then sign up for Robert’s latest webinar!

_______

You have probably heard the story before. Teenage girl takes some scantily clad photos and sends them to her latest boyfriend. “What could go wrong?,” she thinks. Well, a lot could go wrong, and an article on Vice.com really lays that out. You might think that the boyfriend is to blame for this 15-year old’s photos spreading like wildfire, but the truth is this: he deleted them soon after getting them…the photos got out because the teen kept them on her phone and some classmates took that phone.

Ultimately, the photos got into the hands of the victim’s best friend. At this point, you probably think “Phew…the photos are safe.”  Wrong again. Her “best friend” ended up posting the photos to a blog. Many years later, the victim found out why…her “best friend” was mad that she had sent some angry texts to her the night before, and that her main motivation was to simply hurt her friend because of those texts. That’s all it took for a teen’s life to be effectively ruined for months.

When things like this happen, many women are made to feel guilty that they took these photos, and this is a type of digital violence. In fact, more women are now seeking counseling to help to combat these feelings. The thing is, if you have a nude photo, you are certainly not immune. Teens often become victims here, but so do adult women and celebrities. In most cases, someone else is spreading these photos, but the victim is often blamed.

In late 2017, the EU passed new laws that help to better protect people who find themselves in this situation, and in 2015, the British government made these actions a crime, too. However, in most other countries, no such laws exist.

In this case, the victim ended up forgiving her classmates, but as an adult, she still has not overcome the invasion of her privacy. She also still struggles with the fact that most people in the community blamed her…not the boys who stole her phone, nor her friend, who posted them on the internet. She says that people came up to her for years after the incident and told her they saw those photos, too, and she still has that feeling that she did something wrong.

Finally, as a society, we have to find ways to make sure that victims of these crimes are taken seriously, and ensure that video sites, like YouTube, and social media sites, like Facebook, respond immediately when notified of content like this.

And, please, I’m not blaming the victim here, and a bit of advice, no naked pics of yourself, girlfriend, husband or wife please. It’s a bit too risky and can have significant consequences.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Are You Taking Responsibility for Your Personal Safety?

For the most part, the local police department does not prevent most assaults or burglaries. That would require a cop to be everywhere all at once. Not happening. However, they do their best to capture and arrest those who commit these crimes. And, preventing crimes goes way beyond getting a home security system or making sure your doors are locked and your lights are on timers. But this is a start. The truth is, your personal security and preventing crimes starts with you. It begins with taking responsibility for your property and your personal safety.

Civilized Conditioning

You might have heard of civilized conditioning. Civilized conditioning is what mom and dad teach you about being a civilized human in a civilized society. That means not hitting, harming, biting etc. Just be nice and in general, respect authority.

You have probably (hopefully) been taught that it’s not okay to hurt other people, and this, of course, is a great thing. Most of us have been taught this from the time we were small children. This type of conditioning allows each of us to successfully get along with others in a society, but it also causes us to do nothing when we need to.

Civilized conditioning has had a negative impact on our ability to take responsibility for our personal security. This is really a double-edged sword. Sure, it helps to keep us under control when we are tempted to get violent with another person. But, it also prevents us from using a violent stance when we need to.

We are all aware that there are people out there who we could say are uncivilized. These people don’t have the same boundaries as the rest of us. When we come across those people, we have to take responsibility for our own safety. That might mean being violent.

You Are On Your Own

Bad things happen all of the time. Consider, for instance, installing a home security system. This is a great start and helps you to take responsibility for the safety of your property, your family, and yourself. Also, consider a self-defense class. There are several options for these classes from local courses and books to videos and online training. Additionally, teach your children self-defense skills. Even children as young as 5-years- old are definitely capable of learning techniques that can protect them. Finally, teach responsibility. You can’t always rely on the government or the police to protect you. Instead, rely on yourself.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Don’t mess with this Pint Sized Woman

April Marchessault got attacked just after midnight inside her bathroom. At 5-1, she wasn’t intimidated by the 5-7, 200 pound man. Edgardo Montes, 47, got his clock thoroughly cleaned.

1SDHe was charged with breaking and entering and intent to rape, plus other charges. It all began when April took out the trash, reports eagletribune.com. She left the back door open. What are the odds that this formerly convicted rapist just happened to be out there? Well, it happened. Never leave doors unlocked!

She went into the bathroom to clean the sink. Edgardo crept up from behind and wrapped his arms around her chest so hard she couldn’t turn around. But when he tried to force her face into the sink, she kind of hulked out.

April turned around and pushed him back, but somehow he struck her in the jaw. She pushed him again and pulled his shirt off (which was already partially pulled up to conceal his face). He headed for the back door but April got there first, pushing him out. Then she started beating him, making him fall down some steps.

“I ran down the stairs and I kept hitting him in the face and head with my fist,” says the Massachusetts woman. “I was stomping on his knee.” She “kept hitting him” as he was trying to get up. April then began hitting him in the head repeatedly with a trash can.

Edgardo was so beaten he couldn’t get up, and by then, April’s father stood guard over him while waiting for the police. Amazingly, April’s three young sons slept through everything.

Points of Interest

  • April has no martial arts training; what enabled her was anger and wit.
  • Martial arts training, however, can reprogram a woman’s way of thinking so that if she’s ever assaulted, she could maintain her wits and think tactically rather than in a panicked state.
  • Never leave your doors unlocked even for a moment, especially at night. It takes just seconds to lock the door right behind you after you re-enter your home!

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures

Street Fights can result in Death

People who don’t believe they have been brainwashed by the film industry, which repeatedly shows men in a brawl who are still standing after each have received a dozen punches to the head and face.

Sometimes it takes five full minutes to just daze a man, after he’s been hit in the face over and over, and struck in the back with a chair so hard the chair breaks. Men get slammed, even tossed, into walls, into cars, but bounce right back with their dukes up.

An article on gawker.com points out that just one punch could be lethal. And that hitting your head on the ground can be fatal. Bare hands can be deadly. The article also explains that because of this, you should do whatever it takes to stop the attacker—knowing that it might kill him—but at the same time, you shouldn’t deliberately try to kill him.

If your only way out is the nearby 2 x 4, and he’s a bull, then whack him. But geez, no need to impale him with the nearby pitchfork when instead you can just swing the other end into his knees.

How can one punch or a hard fall to concrete kill? The force could jar the brain, tearing a blood vessel, causing rapid bleeding—an acute subdural hematoma or subarachnoid hemorrhage. These don’t exist in Hollywood scripts.

Street Fight Smarts

  • Consider pepper spray, but your brain is your best defense weapon.
  • Park only in well-lit areas and never next to a van.
  • Avoid walking in the dark when possible.
  • If someone demands your car, money or jewelry, give it up.
  • Micro-seconds count. You can always say, “I’m sorry for permanently damaging your eye,” later at the courthouse.
  • Don’t scratch or slap; punch with a closed fist.
  • Gouge at the eyes.
  • Go for the nose.
  • Slam fists into the sides of the neck.
  • Kick at the knees.
  • Ram a hand up between his legs—you know what the destination is.

If he’s “dragging” you to his car, drop to the ground and wrap your arms around his leg to become dead weight. If you think he’ll hit your head at that point, then make a break for it, because at that point, he doesn’t have his arms around you.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Take a Women’s Self-Defense Course

Crimes against women are often “crimes of opportunity”. The predator doesn’t care if the opportunity presents itself in a major bustling city or in a tiny town with a population of only 400. If he sees prey and nobody else is around, he’ll strike—big town, medium town or small town.

1SDWomen should take self-defense classes, regardless of their age, weight or height. Just do it. There’s more to a high quality self-defense program than learning how to throw a punch, get out of a choke-hold and deliver a kick.

Sometimes, a predator can be frightened away by a woman’s eyes and tone of voice. In fact, a predator will “interview” a woman before assaulting her. He wants to first make sure he can overtake her. He won’t automatically assume he can simply because he’s taller and heavier. He has to qualify her as victim material.

He may do this by asking her for the time, for directions, or just looking at her in a creepy way. Her response, tone of voice and body language will be very telling. Self-defense and martial arts teaches a woman how to display a posture that makes a dangerous man back off.

Sometimes a woman who’s trained to fight will get attacked anyways.

Its simple enough, you have to be willing to injure, hurt and harm your attackers. A good self-defense program will include instruction in how to get out of real attacks and how to fight from the ground and even when there is a weapon involved.

Attackers generally don’t expect their victims to fight back. So what you do, your response to an attacker in the first few moments of an attack, can very well determine the outcome. Scratching a man’s face is a good start, but may anger him rather than scare him, but a solid punch to the throat or a deep gouge to the eyes is better.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

This Doesn’t Happen In Small Towns

If you have children you know what worry is. If you have a daughter you worry times ten. I have 2 daughters and I worry times 10,000. Worrying is unproductive however, but taking action can and putting your worry to work can create positive results.

In a small Massachusetts town a recently graduated and talented 18 year old woman got off work and went to the beach to meet an 18 year old man she was in some type of relationship with.

She was supposed to check in with her dad early evening and never did. Her father got worried and called all her fiends then the police. The next day a bicyclist found her body in a wooded area in the small town.

The 18 year old man was arrested in the same day as the suspect in her murder. Her dad was quoted saying “When we fall in love, we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and we lose perspective.” That’s an amazingly poignant and correct observation coming from a man who just lost his daughter and only child

The Boston Globe reported one of the residents stated “People who are not from a small town don’t understand. We are all so tight here. . . . Stuff like this doesn’t happen here.’’

Stuff like this happens in small towns. It happens everywhere. Predators are people not “right in the head” and they are part of every town.

Reporting this isn’t fun.  Reading is less so. Worrying is futile. But taking action and learning self defense, teaching your kids at an early age how to protect themselves is fundamental to living.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing self defense on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Serial Killer Loose On Long Island

“The serial killer who dumped his victim’s bodies in the thick brush along several miles of New York’s breathtaking beachfront may have dismembered several of them, law enforcement authorities have told ABC News.”

The chance of you ever coming face to face with a serial killer is extremely slim, unless of course you are a prostitute, then the odds change. Either way there is an extremely slim chance you’d ever get struck by lightning too. But I’ll bet you wouldn’t go climbing a metal flag pole in a lightning storm.

On Long Island, New York officials have found the remains of 9-10 bodies most believed to be women and so far one child.

Much speculation has come about regarding the killer’s profile. Some say his IQ may be as high as 120, he is probably white, mid 30’s, and integrated into the community. He could be a neighbor, boss and some say a cop or military.

The case points to how the killer is someone who looks like you and I and acts like you and me, but simply doesn’t think like you and I.

He may “suffer” from anti-social personality disorder. They lack empathy for others’ feelings. They aren’t concerned about the consequences of their actions and the potential harm it may do others. Many in prison are said to have this “ailment.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics “In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year-end — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults.”  2,304,115 were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails.

There is an old saying born of motorcycle gangs called “one percenters”.  The theory is 1% of all people come out of their momma just bad. According to these stats, it may actually be 3.2 percent.

Unfortunately, while most people are civilized, few aren’t. The uncivilized don’t have the same boundaries as us and sometimes kill for their own pleasure.

Lock up, install a home security system, take a self defense course, and keep your head up.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing self defense and rape prevention on NBC Boston

Facebook Beefs Up Your Security

It is obvious to many that Facebook has got the message and is becoming more responsible for their users security. For a few months now I have enjoyed a security feature they implemented that allows you to say in control of your logins.

Login notifications: This feature sends you an email or text telling you someone has just logged into your account.

To set up and enable notifications

1. go to “Account” upper right hand corner

2. in the drop down menu to “Account Settings”

3. in the main menu go to “Account Security”

4. click “Yes” next to “Would you like to receive notifications from new devices”

5. the same can be done with text messages if you have your mobile plugged into Facebook. But don’t have your mobile displayed on your page publically.

6. Log out then log back in and it will ask you to identify the computer.

One time passwords: This makes it safer to use public computers in places like hotels, cafes or airports. If you have any concerns about security of the computer you’re using while accessing Facebook, we can text you a one-time password to use instead of your regular password.

Simply text “otp” (that’s O T P for ‘One Time Password’) to 32665 on your mobile phone (U.S. only), and you’ll immediately receive a password that can be used only once and expires in 20 minutes. In order to access this feature, you’ll need a mobile phone number in your account.

Remote logout: the ability to sign out of Facebook remotely is now available to everyone. These session controls can be useful if you log into Facebook from a friend’s phone or computer and then forget to sign out. From your Account Settings, you can check if you’re still logged in on other devices and remotely log out.

Under the Account Security section of your Account Settings page you’ll see all of your active sessions, along with information about each session.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing social media Facebook scammers on CNN. Disclosures.