With Kim Kardashian back on social media after recent events Ex-Royal Military Policeman and now Director of Special Projects at close protection specialists Stratis Secure, Andrew Brown, shares his thoughts as to how high profile celebs and high net worth individuals can mitigate the downsides of social media in the current climate.

Ms Kardashian's ordeal has brought into focus the downside of social media and the possible consequences of sharing without thinking. And whilst there's little doubt the reality TV star was followed in the days before her horrific robbery her constant and arguably excessive sharing of personal details with fans was no doubt, in my mind, a factor in the events which unfolded.

"There's growing evidence that Criminals are using social media more than ever before - and the personal information many offer up about themselves is becoming an increasing security risk when it comes to personal safety and corporate security.

Whenever we take on a new client we introduce the services of our social media monitoring and online reputation management team so we can fully understand how the client uses social media - both personally and professionally - and if what they are doing is exposing them and their business to risks they could avoid.

A lot of it is common sense, however in the fast moving world of social media this is often neglected - Helen Flanagan back in 2013 was confronted by armed robbers in her home after tweeting that she was home alone and burglars stole two Rolex watches, credit cards and cash from Ricky Hatton's home after he posted that he'd be away from home appearing on Soccer AM.

But it's not just celebrities who need to be careful about what they put online, CEO's and CFO's are vulnerable to hacking just as celebs and the risks to their companies arguably of greater concern. Posting on Facebook or Twitter to announce that you've gone on holiday or that you've just picked up your new car and you might as well be leaving your front door wide open.

Andrew suggests some basic security measures are taken and some simple ‘Rules' to follow which will significantly reduce your risk.

Before starting out on any social media platform you should always ensure that you set up a public facing account and keep this completely separate from any personal accounts. And you should always ensure that the security settings on any account fit with the account, by that I mean for personal accounts lock the security settings down as tight as possible, you might be happy to be a little more relaxed with a business account but still be aware of the consequences if you are.

The most important thing to remember is that your updates and posts, especially on your public facing accounts, should whenever possible be written in the past. Posting 'Just had a wonderful stay at XX Hotel' rather than 'Checking in for a long weekend at XX' will ensure anyone taking a suspicious look at your movements will always be playing catch up whilst ensuring that you still mention the people and places important to your strategy. You should also take care when posting pictures - whilst not actually stating the obvious in terms of where you are images can give the game away just as quickly - especially at recognisable landmarks. Avoid posting images which show obvious locations or signs which can be used to pinpoint your location.

At the end of the day social media is a fact of life - both privately and in a business context. What business owners and celebrities need to be aware of is the consequence to their security if person(s) unknown were wanting to attack them or their assets and how their social media profile and activity can be used against them with at times alarming speed.

On-line Reputation Management and Social Media Review

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