Steve Smith talks about predators online, and talks about tricks to detect sock puppet accounts, and protect yourself from dangerous predators, too.
Episode #6-01 released on September 7, 2015
Before the Internet, we all used to leave our homes to go to public places to meet people, some people may have had pen pals, but the majority of people knew who their friends were as actual local people, or people they met in their travels around the world. The Internet allow us to connect to more people around the world, allowing us to see and interact with cultures, and more specifically connect with people we would have never connected with before. Social networking currently allows for billions of people to collect in a single place and interact with each other, but it, also, poses a new set of dangers.
We are all taught not to talk to strangers as kids, but let us be real, we do. If we didn't we would never make any friends, the entire premise of making friends is an act of laughing in the face of danger, problem is, the Internet, is our modern day's wild west.
There are plenty of people who will have sock puppet accounts that will attempt to cat fish you by making us believe they are younger, a different gender, rich, etc... Some may come off as charming, or gentle beings, and many will attempt to extract personal information from you for their own financial gains, some may want to convince you to go to public places alone, and others may use this technique for fraudulent means and gains.
Now, the idea of using a sock puppet account is not new, and some television series use it to examine a person's sexuality, however, on the Internet, when we meet people, we can't guarantee anything. So many people have tried to develop techniques to validate the person on the other end of the computer screen is real, sometimes as low tech as pose in a picture with today's newspaper.
A lot of accounts on the Internet use other people's pictures by either stealing them from their accounts, or coercing them to give them over other services like Snap Chat, Whisper, etc... There are a few things you can do to protect yourself, and even validate the origin of the picture.
We all love Google, but what I love is their image search. Go to Google.com and click on the image tool, you can click and drag the photo into the search and it will present to you a list of places, if any, that have the same picture. It will, also, present to you a list of similar pictures. You can use those to, also, identify people with multiple sock puppet accounts and aliases that are stupid enough to use their own face. While a negative result doesn't mean you are safe, if the image and the person at least match, you know that you have a better chance the person is real online.
Other techniques to protect yourself should include never giving any personal information, do not send anyone cash you don't personally know, don't meet people you don't know in isolated places, and never alone. If they want to meet you, make sure it is on your own terms. If ever anyone calls you a coward for not meeting them in their favorite isolated place, disconnect and block immediately.
For those minors, teenagers, all of you included, pedophiles are a threat. They are one of the largest reason for teens disappearing from online encounters. You should never meet person on the other side of the screen alone, always make sure you are not alone, and you should inform an adult, even if it is not your parents. I know, your parents may suck, but someone has to know where you went.
And, another thing, a detail a lot of kids do not know. The act of taking a nude picture of yourself, when you're a minor, to send via text, snapchat, skype, etc... isn't just dangerous because it can be leaked. It is illegal is a lot of countries for a person of majority age to receive, and illegal for a minor to send. I know it sucks, but heed my warning youth, anything that hits the Internet, is there forever, no matter how much you Google for a way to remove it.
Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions