People talk—A LOT. They can’t stop talking. Talking, getting something off your mind and out there feels good. Talking takes the pressure off one’s mind; our mouths are like relief valves for our heads. The problem has always been that people blurt out whatever is on their mind and say things that often get them in trouble. And yes, I’ve done it too.

But now people now post their thoughts online, which in many cases is even worse because it’s not one on one; it’s to the world. We’ve seen numerous kids, teachers, employees, officials, politicians, celebrities, and folks from just about every walk of life say or post something that has resulted in backlash and sometimes arrest.

The arrest part is very interesting. Law enforcement and government are paying close attention to social media and what is being said. A man in Toronto posts on Twitter he’s looking for a drug dealer, provides a location for where he is, and says, “I need a spliff”—slang for marijuana—and the Toronto police respond, “Awesome, can we come too?”

But it goes much deeper than that. NextGov.com reports, “Criminals, organized crime syndicates, gangs and terrorists also use social media. They post information and share photos and videos, and terrorist groups use the tools to recruit new members, disseminate propaganda and solicit funds.”

It seems the next stage to investigate and prevent crime is through social intelligence combined with social analytics, hence “Socint”. Continues NextGov.com: “Officials can use this type of social media-driven intelligence to gain insight, investigate, construct countermeasures and refocus resources.”

So what do YOU do? If you are doing anything illegal, stop…or just keep doing what you are doing and let’s just hope you get caught. For the rest of us who want a little more privacy or don’t want to get in trouble because we say stupid stuff, pay attention:

  • Know that everyone’s watching: What you say or post lasts forever, and it can and will bite you.
  • Lock down privacy settings: Each social site has its own privacy settings. They change often and they require your attention at least semiannually.
  • Update security settings: Criminals are creating viruses in record numbers for computers, mobiles and tablets. It is essential to updates your operating system’s critical security patches and antivirus, antispyware and antiphishing.

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress.

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