I always thought of myself as quite cyber savvy (not tech savvy that’s different!). I knew not to write
my passwords down, give out personal information or even duplicate a password for different
websites. However, I have realised how easy it is to slip into a level of complacency, especially with
social media and wanting to share our exciting news with friends, colleagues and peers.

I am beyond guilty, in the not-so-distant past, of letting Facebook know I was on holiday (oh how I
miss Vegas) commenting on random posts about childhood pets and funny little anecdotes about
which school I went to. Now I work in cyber security I am actually embarrassed by how quickly I gave
away information.

A case in point, is a recent post I popped on Linkedin (because I love my Linkedin family). I wanted to
give a little update after the birth of my daughter and just share how blinking wonderful she is. I
uploaded a photo on there of her looking all squishy and delicious. However, whilst I have about
2,000 connections on there, I completely disregarded the networks of networks. Upon viewing the
impressions, as you can see below, over 17,000 people have seen this photo. Now whilst I want to
live in a Utopian world, we don’t and it made me realise I now have zero control over who sees this
photo and what they do with. This actually creeps me out!

This is not intended to be a “don’t ever share pictures of your kids on social media” fear mongering
piece but having now worked with CyberNorth and spoken to some real experts who see the fallout
from cyber-crimes, I appreciate the different types of cybercrimes out there and the depths that
criminals will go to, to exploit the data that we freely give out.

For us as individuals, employees and business owners we can implement small changes within our
practices and polices that can make a difference. I know now that I will be more mindful when
posting pictures and updates. It’s one thing to show me looking an absolute mess but maybe future
Norah wouldn’t appreciate photos of her online.

I also realise the irony of sharing her picture again when I am saying I will be more careful in the
future but I think I needed to highlight my error in order to showcase my point. It may not be a
photo of your child, it could be your dog, your office or an innocent picture which unfortunately has
your bank statement way in the bank ground which can be zoomed in on. Criminals can be very
creative about how they utilise our information so I know I just need to be a little more aware in the

Sophie Peel – CyberNorth