For many of us, the web can be a perplexing place. On the one hand, all the world’s knowledge is available at the click of a link. But too often, that mass of data can also include our personally identifiable information.
Following the Politico revelation that the Supreme Court has drafted a ruling to effectively end legal abortion at a federal level, the outlet is reportedly taking precautions to protect its staff. According to Katie Roberts of The New York Times, Politico has circulated an internal memo advising staff to be mindful of unknown individuals at work and to “consider removing any personal details from social media accounts.”
Reporters are Often Targets
While threats to journalists and media outlets are not a new issue, reporters have never been more visible to the world. Twitter and Instagram handles accompany many bylines, providing both fans – and sometimes sources – a way to engage with those that bring us the news. Of course, these avenues of interaction also offer those that don’t like what they see, hear, or read to troll journalists or even worse.
As Politico’s actions seem to indicate, the publisher is keenly aware that there are as many people angry about the Supreme Court’s draft decision as there are those furious over the leak. By encouraging staffers to be judicious about the information they’re putting out into the world, Politico is clearly trying to mitigate risks to employees and associates.
Online History is Hard to Conceal
But what else can be done? After all, with services such as the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, scrubbing the web is a much more arduous task than just deleting some old tweets and setting your Facebook profile to private. And indeed, even if a person’s information has been scraped and duly shared to some shady corner of the web, that individual may not learn about it for some time – if ever.
Threat Monitoring Can Combat Risks
Fortunately, iThreat’s SignalAlert system was built to uncover online threats directed at staff.. By tracking signals across social media, the dark web, and countless other parts of the online world, our analysts are able to quickly identify activities that are intended to cause problems for both individuals and organizations. We can see how certain internet chatter foments, and help identify potential threats as they take shape.
In this ever-changing world, the work of journalists has never been more important. And while it’s healthy to have disagreements in society, dissent should never lead to threats against those whose job it is to tell us what is happening. iThreat’s tools are designed to ensure adversaries will be detected if they use your online presence against you – when they try, you’ll be the first to know about it.
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Founded in 1997, iThreat has assisted hundreds of clients with thousands of internet monitoring and investigations, including multiple successful multinational law enforcement operations.