A woman was arrested recently after bragging about hiding from the police in social media. From internet anonymity to intelligent OPSEC, there’s a lot to learn from this.
Earlier today, I read a story about Chloe Jones of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. She was part of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office top ten list of at-large criminals after evading court over an assault charge. When the police posted about this list on Facebook, Jones commented on it, taunting them with jokes and emojis and arguing with others in the comment thread.
In the comments, Jones claimed that she did not attend court because she was in the Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, at the time. Using this information, law enforcement was able to locate and apprehend her.
Now while this may have been a dumb thing to do, we as readers can still gain a bit of knowledge from this: The internet is not private, and don’t share more than is safe.
When you post things online, there’s a big, big chance that you can no longer control that information. Nearly all major websites will save the comments, texts, pictures, or video on their servers, even after you delete them. And even if they don’t there’s no stopping other people online from saving it themselves. Always assume anything you put online is permanently public information.
Often times, you’re sharing more info than you even realize. All internet access is traced through an IP Address, which is a digital address that service providers use to keep track of anyone. Whenever you post something online, the website knows what your IP Address is. If someone with enough tech savvy finds that address, they can potentially find out where you live, or at least where you posted the thing.
Practice Good OPSEC
Short for Operational Security, good OPSEC is the practice of not openly revealing what you’re doing or working on. In prepping, good OPSEC is most commonly for keeping your co-workers and acquaintances from harassing you for help during a SHTF scenario. Had Jones followed these ideas, she wouldn’t have commented at all.
We at PrepsLife do not approve of evading the authorities. But we can at least learn from their mistakes.