How selfies are a security risk

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Smartphones continue to advance, and with even midrange devices you get high-end specs. For instance, what do you do with a 7MP, f/2.2 and 1.22µm front camera on the phone? The answer is simple, take selfies documenting every occurrence in your life after every 20 minutes. In the past, we wouldn’t have to worry about selfies, but now it’s a trend, and there’s no way of curbing it. Pressure from social media to show people how happy you are living your life is a fueling factor that can’t be tamed. I have no problem with selfie enthusiasts, but make sure you are not creating a security risk by not taking selfies carefully.

Selfies can compromise not only your online security but also you risk injuring yourself and endangering other people around you. Let’s see how;

Selfies contain too much identifiable information

In this digital world, you might be taking cybersecurity seriously. By doing this, you have ensured your privacy and security are intact by using a strong password in your accounts, disabling location services and geotagging in social media, and a whole lot of things. But you might be forgetting one thing, what your selfies reveal.

If you like taking selfies and posting them online, take a closer look at them. You will realize there are visible receipts in the backgrounds, wrappings of where you do your shopping, and even a visible shop/street name through the window. Other selfies clearly show the name of your school, a place you go clubbing regularly and other areas where you hang out. Others openly reveal your vehicle registration plates.

Additionally, your friends might not be cyber aware, and they may geotag you in group selfies. You will be surprised at how much information you are posting online.

Selfies contain personally identifiable information (PII)

To prove that you are living your life fully, most times you end up coping with social media pressure by setting higher standards than other people. To do this, you will often post selfies holding your plane ticket and even your credit cards. Your standards may annoy other people who will act maliciously and what follows next is a zero reading in your bank account.

Selfies lead to Social engineering attacks

Nowadays, many security measures have been put in place to safeguard data, software, and hardware. This has made hacking enterprises a problematic endeavor. However, cybercriminals have identified its easier to hack people instead. Actually, they don’t need to struggle as most people hack themselves. All hackers do is exploit the vulnerability.

For example, using selfies, cybercriminals can gather information and profile you quickly than before. With all the credit card details, your preferences and behavior, cybercriminals can still your identity, commit fraud, and at the end of the day, you will be on the wrong side of the law. Apart from identity theft and fraud, cybercriminals can further hack you by, i.e., using your school Wi-Fi to target you specifically. They can then gain access to confidential and sensitive information. They might then propagate further attacks such as blackmail.

In conclusion, be more careful about how you take selfies and what information you give away when you post them online. Take further precautions such as using a VPN when connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots.

justineconnor

justineconnor

A tech enthusiast interested in digital privacy and internet security.

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