Raytheon is a company that develops security software. Recently, word about a new product created by Raytheon has spread across tech blogs. The software, called Riot, digs through social networks in order to mine personal user data -- software that could, hypothetically, be sold to governments looking to gather information about certain citizens. It’s no secret that social networks place users at certain risks. Yet, many social users still do not lock down data.
Right now, Raytheon hasn’t sold its software to any government agencies, but the company isn’t shy when it comes to Riot’s use. With software as effective as Riot is, there are more reasons than ever before to make sure that your social information is safe and secure. Take a look at what Riot can do – and what you can do to make sure that software like this can’t grab ahold of your details.
Riot’s Mission: Gather and Report
Riot gathers all kinds of information. Using Internet searches and social media links, this software looks at all the places you frequently visit online. Further, the software denotes how many times per day you’ve been to a certain site or ordered from a retailer. But, that’s not the scary part. Riot also uses geo-mapping information to see where you go in the real world, at what times you go to what places, and where you are most likely to be at any time during the day.
Additionally, Riot can track the friends you connect with the most. If you talk to one friend numerous times throughout the day, this software can detect who that person is, where they live, and any information about them. As you can see, this software will give a government agency anything it needs to know.
However, governments aren’t the biggest threat to public security. If this software falls into the wrong hands, it would be very easy to target anyone for any reason. There’s not much you can do about stopping a program like Riot. You can, however, make sure that your social streams are locked-down as tightly as possible.
Setting Up Privacy Walls
The best piece of advice you can take to heart is this: think before you post. Do you really need to “check-into” every place you visit? Why do this? To let others know where you are and what you are doing? Sure, you can brag about certain check-ins, but you are also letting the world know what spots you visit. What kind of privacy settings do you have in place when it comes to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter?
The whole point of these networks is to share photos, posts, and pictures with the universe, but keep in mind that sharing isn’t private. It can be so easy to think of your social world as a small tightly-knit community, but is this realistic? How many friends or people do you follow per network? How many people can see where you’ve been or where you’re going to go? How about those photos of your kids?
Who can see those? Social privacy seems to have gone by the wayside, but privacy measures are available for good reason. Programs like Riot can mine your details making you an easy target. Riot goes above and beyond what most programs can do, but, in the end, the program is really just gathering public data. Here’s the really scary part: if this data is public, who else can find out all about you? All a person really needs is time and motivation.