The term Digital Footprint is often used to describe the amount of information content providers have about you and your interests, while many see this knowledge as trivial and feel it only effects their online world, the dangers go beyond the cyber realm. Take a few minutes to consider what your public / semi private activity says about you... Think about how the criminal element could use this information to target you and or your family. While this has little to do with the products or services we provide at KeepSafe Systems, I thought it was worth addressing.


How exposing / exposed are your posts? Typically I avoid using serious fear based vernacular in the content on this page, but I have seen a number of potentially risky profiles / posts, lately. Lets start with the obvious posting of vacation photos and other information. I know many people love to share their experiences with friends, but who else can see those post? Even if your posts can only be seen by “friends” consider the online friends who you have never met and are only connected to by way of mutual interests.

The risk exposure of social media to your home security goes beyond vacation photos. I see many people posting pictures of social / sporting events they will be attending, conferences and vacation planning, work schedules and even your work information. Consider how these posts can be used to create a home occupancy profile on you and your family.

While you may say you are not the only person living in your home, consider how your social media profile, as well as your public posts, indicate who your close family is; not only by direct connection but also based on the content of posts in both your feed, as well as your public group posts. Even something as innocent as a public tag or comment by yourself, your spouse or even a close friend can draw connection lines. If someone really wants to know where everyone in a household is, all they need to do is look at those close to you.


Look at my cool new Whats-it The risk of posting pictures of your latest expensive toys is clear, but what about the reviews or online comments you post? You do not need to post a picture of your new flatscreen, in order to let people know about the gadgets you have, a simple comment in a support or tech forum can be enough to build a profile of the valuables in your home. For that matter, these valuables are not necessarily restricted to electronic gadgets and wingdings; a photograph of you wearing a Rolex watch or an expensive diamond necklace can be enough to illustrate the value of your possessions. Even a picture of your expensive sports car can increase your skid appeal.


Personal safety of you and those around you I have a number of clients in various levels of law enforcement and many have a complete absence of any social media footprint, because of the risk this presence would pose to their loved ones. Even those in the public eye need to be cautious of the personal details they post online.


Phishing on Social Media By now most everyone who uses the Internet is familiar with the practice of Phishing. This is typically when a would be hacker / thief creates a fake website designed to encourage visitors to enter their username and password. Sometimes Phishing involves sending you an email, instructing you to log into a portal to prevent something bad from happening and other attempts can involve subtle social media ploys, disguised as memes and polls which prompt you for information either directly related to your password or the canned password reset questions we all create, with every new online profile. While questions about the name of your first pet, or the place you met your spouse may seem happy, the intent is far from happy, when a would be criminal uses this information to reset your online banking password. How do they figure out what bank you use, you ask... By browsing through the business pages you like and the online reviews you post.


Online Content & Home Security  While one may not typically associate online activities with home security, they can be very intrinsically linked so I wanted to expand on what was said above.

There isn't a day I go through Facebook and do not see very descriptive post about peoples current activities both at home and abroad. In the previous sections I focused on what Social Media Posts can expose about you and your family on a local level, but what about when you are away and your house is vacant? Consider how the combination of pictures of the outside and inside of your home, neighbourhood affiliations and your current vacation photos can be used to determine if you are out of the country. Sure, some people wait until they are home to post these photos but fail to realize how a history of similar posts, as well as comments can be used to determine when and often where you spend your family vacations.

As with the previous suggestions, there are many parts of your social media profile which can be used to build a home vacancy profile on you and your family. Aside from the obvious vacation photos, consider what you share about "Check-in's" Vacation spot reviews, favourite places and more are very effective tools for would be thieves to use to identify your vacation patterns


Serious Wake up call Now for the part which prompted me to write this article. Not all online risks relate to your banking information and personal property. Some activities can put those close to you at serious risk of physical harm. The fact is, you do not have to be a police officer, politician or celebrity to be concerned about how your social media activity effects you and those close to you.

Recently I stumbled across the profile of a self employed single mother with five children, all of whom shared one bedroom with bunk beds. She has at least two young daughters, one of whom has self confidence issues about her appearance and may very well be easily flattered by a predator. The children also have a close relationship with their Grandparents, information on whom I could also find on her profile. I could even find posts which indicated where she lived, where her children went to school and what their extra curricular activities were. What is even scarier, I have never met this person and all this information was discovered in under 5 minutes. To clarify, the reason I looked through this profile was because I was interested in her photography business. The ease at which I found information about her and her children was troubling.


The Dark Side of AI and Social Media The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in various aspects of our lives brings both innovative possibilities and potential risks. One concerning aspect is the misuse of AI to create fake accounts on social media platforms, mimicking human behavior to harvest data. This practice goes beyond the realm of ordinary cyber threats, as it involves the creation of deceptive profiles that can mimic the activities of real individuals.

These fake accounts, powered by AI algorithms, are designed to infiltrate social networks, harvesting personal information and building comprehensive profiles. The harvested data can be used for a variety of scams that target individuals and their families. One significant risk is identity theft, where the gathered information is utilized to impersonate individuals for financial gain or to commit fraud.

Additionally, the collected data can be exploited for phishing attacks on social media. Cyber-criminals may employ sophisticated tactics, such as crafting fake memes, polls, or seemingly harmless surveys, to prompt users for sensitive information. This could include login credentials, answers to security questions, or other personal details that could be used to compromise accounts and conduct further malicious activities.

Moreover, the information gathered from social media profiles can be employed to craft targeted scams. For example, cyber-criminals may use the details obtained to create convincing narratives that exploit personal circumstances, posing a higher risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes. This could range from financial scams to emotional manipulation, putting individuals and their loved ones at significant risk. Some examples of potential scams include but are not limited to:

  • Pig slaughter - this is a scam where scammers friend real people and pretend to be interested in them. They then slowly drain their financial resources over time.
  • Grandparent scam - Typically when the scammer contacts a grandparent, or other loved one, claiming the grandchild is in trouble and needs money.
  • Marketplace scams - the more real a profile looks the more likely people will trust it
  • Fake online reviews for sale. This has been going on down awhile and I have been approached by individuals offering to write hundreds of "legitimate" reviews from well developed fake profiles. Needless to say I turned them down

In addition to creating fake profiles, these AI Bots, under the guidance of cyber-criminals, could even create fake community groups filled with legitimate looking content and even conversations between bots, in order to build credibility and encourage the sharing of private information. Honestly I feel like a conspiracy theorist as I write this article but this is all possible with the technology we have available today.

As technology advances, the potential for AI-driven social engineering attacks increases. It is crucial for users to be vigilant about the information they share online and to be aware of the potential risks associated with fake accounts and data harvesting. Employing privacy settings, limiting the sharing of personal information, being cognizant of those whom you connect to as friends (They may be an AI Bot) and regularly reviewing and updating security measures can help mitigate these risks.


While, at KeepSafe Systems, our work primarily encompasses the installation and monitoring of Security Alarm, Access Control, Video Surveillance and Home Automation systems in the Metro Vancouver / Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, the integration of AI into social engineering attacks emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to personal safety. By being aware of the potential risks associated with AI-generated fake accounts on social media, individuals can take steps to protect themselves, their families, and their properties in both the physical and digital realms. After all, the purpose of our web content has always been more about education and less about the hard sell. My hope is the information I provide will help to keep you, those close to you and your property safe.



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KeepSafe Systems installs and services residential and commercial security alarm systems and provides alarm monitoring services in the Metro Vancouver / Fraser Valley area of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Our service area includes but is not limited to Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission, Abbotsford, Hope, Harrison, Aldergrove, Langley, Surrey, White Rock, Delta, Richmond and everywhere inbetween. Give us a call and let us help you feel more secure. We are here for you