The Norwegian Hull Club has issued a warning to seafarers about how journalists and pirates might use their social media postings.
Seafarers: Watch Out for Journalists and Pirates
See Below Allmode advice first published 6th April:
Media policies and the do’s and don’ts:
Social media has helped the world gain a better understanding of the role that the maritime industry plays and many people across the industry use social media to raise awareness which can have a positive effect, we should however remember a few basic rules to ensure that it doesn’t have a negative effect and therefore guidelines should be published for your employees about what is acceptable and what they can publish about your company.
It’s important to note that yachts and yacht crew have more specific vulnerabilities facing them when it comes to technology. A yacht’s presence on the Internet means it faces similar cyber threats as any other Internet-connected, land-based businesses, but additional risk can come with the unique way the other systems on board are connected and accessed.
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“One method criminals use to do this is by easily searching the Internet to find information related to your vessel’s owner, such as their identity, financial status, residence and family, says James Kellett, operations director of risk management and security service company Allmode Limited. He adds that this helps the criminal build a profile to predict where the intended target will be at any time.”
- Think about your account security, who can see your account? Security settings can be adjusted on all major social media networks to allow you more privacy and protection. Don’t post personal details such as your address, telephone number, bank details as these may make you, your family and friends a target. Without the correct security settings in place you are opening up anything you post to everyone – from journalists to criminals or even terrorists. It may not just be friends and family reading your updates.
- Acceptable behaviour – all personnel posting anything related to the company should follow the core values of their organisation such as: honesty, objective and act with integrity at all times. Online, on duty or off duty you should always behave in a lawful, appropriate and professional manner, wherever you are in the world.
- When using social media you are and ambassador for your company, you therefore should think about what you are about to post and ensure that it is correct and non-damaging.
- Make sure that your family and friends are also aware of the risks by posting information about you, your movements and company.
Social networkers exacerbate this problem by posting their activities, locations and photos online, which provides GPS information through geo-tagging, or an enabled location service, that criminals can use to locate victims. As smartphone apps are susceptible to hacking, criminals can even attach malware to track crew movements without the crew’s knowledge.
“Social networking puts [crew] at even greater risk of unknowingly associating with a perpetrator who may target them because of [their] owner’s prosperity,” Kellett warns. Via social media, criminals can also present themselves as someone else in order to gain private information, a social engineering practice known as pretexting.
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For starters, adjust your security settings on all of your social media networks to allow the most privacy and protection. Kellett advises refraining from posting personal details such as your address, telephone number and bank information and establishing a base awareness and educating crews on what’s happening, what they can do and that the yacht systems are not immune or invisible is a place to start.
- What if it ends up on the front page of the papers?
- Would you leave sensitive information lying on a park bench?
- What if a terrorist or criminal gets this information?
- Would you stand in front of people you didn’t know and tell them about your life and personal details
- What you say online stays on line forever!