Securing Social Media

As always, strong password protection is the number one priority for securing social media accounts. This includes using your phone to enable two factor authentication (2FA) for them. Due to the simple fact that social accounts usually hold far less important data/information than emails, I am willing to bet anything that close to 100% of all hacks against your social accounts will be deterred if you simply enable 2FA for them. It is also a widely known fact that more social accounts are compromised as a result of weak passwords than any other single factor.

Password Security Guide + 2FA:

While using your social media accounts, just as with emails, never open a message from or click on links by users, senders or accounts you do not know personally, were not expecting to hear from or haven’t done business with in the past. As I have already with emails, hackers can phish your social media accounts all the same. Moreover, it is actually much easier for a hacker to uncover your “IP Address” through something like Facebook Messenger than it is through email. This can also be done without you clicking on any individual hyperlink. For example, you can find someone’s IP when engaging them on Facebook by using a simple sequence of “cmd commands” – which are freely available on every Windows device.

Like your mother always told you, never talk to strangers – especially online 😉

You can add an extra layer of security to your accounts by preventing them from being “indexed” by search engines and web crawlers. This can be accomplished by making small changes to your account settings. By default, the largest social media platforms are all designed to connect to search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo, in order to make social networking more accessible and convenient for everyone. However, allowing your account to be indexed means that theoretically anyone in the world could search for and find your account if they really wanted. Whereas if you disable your account from being indexed then the only people you personally give your account information to will know where to find it.

To do this, simply go under your accounts setting, scroll to Privacy Settings and uncheck the “Public Search Results” box. This will remove your profile’s page from Google, Bing, and Yahoo search returns. This is also a security practice instructed to Federal Employees and members of the US Defense Department.

As Women Stage Public Protests Around Iran, Video Journalists Demonstrate The Increased Level of Hostility, Violence & Abuse Women’s Rights Activists Face Inside The Country

(AI) – A series of videos shared on social media in recent weeks have shed light on the daily harassment and violent attacks women in Iran face at the hands of morality police and pro-government vigilantes seeking to enforce the country’s forced hijab (veiling) laws, said Amnesty International. The videos show members of the public or plain-clothes morality police aggressively confronting or attacking women for defying Iran’s degrading forced hijab laws, in the name of defending “public decency” perpetrators of such attacks appear to be getting bolder in their assaults in response to efforts by women to film the violence they face and share the videos on social media.

The video footage that has emerged in recent weeks demonstrates the shocking levels of abuse women in Iran face on a daily basis from morality police or pro-government thugs simply for daring to defy the country’s abusive forced hijab laws,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director. “Iran’s forced hijab laws are not only deeply degrading and discriminatory, they are also being used to justify violent assaults on women and girls in the streets.

Women in Iran are routinely stopped in the street at random by morality police, who insult and threaten them, order them to pull their headscarves forward to hide strands of hair or give them tissues to wipe off their make-up. Women are often physically assaulted including by being slapped in the face, beaten with batons, handcuffed and bundled into police vans. In one of the videos posted online recently, a woman films a confrontation that she says began after a pro-state vigilante persistently ordered her to wear her hijab properly. In the video the man hurls abusive insults at her and, when she objects, he turns around and sprays her in the face with what appears to be pepper spray.

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. حمله وحشیانه با گاز فلفل برای حجاب. باز بگویید مگر همه مشکلات حل شده مانده حجاب ما با این جماعت خشونت طلب ۴۰ سال داریم زندگی می کنیم سکوت بس است. ارسال کننده فیلم نوشته: سلام مسيح جان . اين اقا امروز تو تاكسي وقتي روسري افتاد بمن تذكر داد و من محل نذاشتم بعدش اومد بمن اعتراض كرد باز من محل نذاشتم ولي كوتاه نيومد و باز گير داد و وقتي من شروع كردم ب فيلم گرفتن اسپري فلفل رو دراورد و منو زد! و عينكم رو شكوند! منم جيغ كشيدم و همه جمع شدن!! اين فيلم رو گرفتم ك باقي زناي سرزمين من بفهمن نباد سكوت كنن، دوره اين ادما تموم شده! اينا حق تحكم ب ما ندارن. #دوربین_ما_اسلحه_ما قرار ما همه با هم در حمایت از زنان #پیاده_روی_بدون_حجاب خانم ها حرکت آقایون حمایت. . اجازه دهید کم کم کمپین را به شکلی هدفمند تر دنبال کنیم. وقتی از هدفمندی می گوییم به معنی آن است که برای رسیدن به هدف، باید قدمهایمان را هماهنگ کنیم. باید تفاوت بسیاری از تعاریف را بدانیم. و با آکاهی و انتخاب پیش برویم. گام اول: تمرین کنیم که تحت هر شرایطی فحاشی یا تندی نکنیم. هدف ما علاوه بر نشان دادن شجاعت و اعلام خواسته هایمان، قانع و همراه کردن متعرضین و تماشاچیان است. فحاشی طرف مقابل را در روش خود جدی تر میکند. ما میخواهیم به آنها ثابت کنیم که می شود در کنار هم در مسالمت زیست. این زیست مسالمت امیز را در صدای مان و کلماتمان نشان دهیم. هر همراه کمپین را دعوت میکنیم تا تمرین کند از این پس، بدون ترس، با شجاعت، اما حتی الامکان با لحنی مودبانه و ومتین سخن بگوید و از به کار بردن هر لفظ ناشایست امتناع کند. به امید همدلی بیشتر، حمایت بیشتراز مردم و دفاع بیشتر از زنان قهرمان میهنمان، #چهارشنبه_های_سفید دیگری در راه است. #رهبر_منم_رهبر_تویی #زمانی_برای_کندن_درها #دوربین_ما_اسلحه_ما نکته جالب که در این فیلم به کارنامه جمهوری اسلامی هم اشاره می شود. @pouriazeraati

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In another video, a man is shown yelling, insulting and ordering a woman to put on her headscarf. The woman is heard screaming about his threat to fire a stun gun at her and the man responds: “I did not fire at you. I only showed it to you.

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. . ‫زورگویی و حمله بسیجی به زنانی که حجاب از سر بر می دارند. به این انگشت ارتجاع و زورگو نگاه کنید، ۴۰سال با ما همین کردند. با دیدن #دوربین_ما_اسلحه_ما خیلی سریع تسلیم شد لحنش عوض شد. از مردم، رسانه‌ها دعوت میکنم در مورد حمله وحشیانه‌ی این افراد سکوت نکنند. ‬ خوب گوش کنید می‌گه من شوکر نزدم بهت، فقط نشون دادم… این یعنی به محض دیدن ⁧‫#دوربین_ما_اسلحه_ما‬⁩ دست‌ها را به نشان تسلیم بالا برد و لحنش را عوض کرد… این یعنی از قدرت ما می‌ترسند ولی با این همه نمی‌توانند خشونت شان را کنترل کنند ویدیو از دوستان #گزارشگر #منوتو

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In a third video posted online, a plain-clothes man standing next to a morality police van is seen aiming a gun at unarmed men and women who have intervened to stop the violent arrest of a woman who is not wearing a headscarf. The person who filmed the video explains in a comment that they and other members of the public had to rescue the woman from the morality police, who had confiscated her car keys and were attempting to push her into their van.

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هشدار: تهدید مردم عادی با اسلحه از فاصله بسیار نزدیک توسط مامور گشت ارشاد. . 🔸فیلم کامل را در کانال تلگرامم ببینید. آدرس تلگرام در قسمت بایوی اینستاگرام است . فیلمی واضح و تکان دهنده به کمپین #دوربین_ما_اسلحه_ما ارسال شده از حادثه اتوبان ستاری. در این حادثه مامور گشت ارشاد در مواجهه با حمایت مردم از یک زنی که حجاب بر سر ندارد، از فاصله بسیار نزدیک اسلحه گرم را به سمت صورت آنها نشانه میرود. این چه قانونیست که به مامور گشت ارشاد مجوز میدهد با اسلحه گرم مردم عادی را تهدید کند؟ اینجا زنی را متوقف کردند که چرا در خودروی خود حجاب بر سر نداشته، ماشین او را توقیف و ماموران تلاش می کنند تا به زور این زن را سوار ون گشت ارشاد کنند. مردمی که ناظر بودند و به دستگیری به خاطر حجاب اعتراض داشتند تلاش می کنند مانع بازداشت این زن شوند و سرانجام او را آزاد می کنند و سوییچ ماشین او را هم از ماموران گشت ارشاد پس می گیرند. این مردم به اصل قانون حجاب اجباری و سرکوب شهروندان توسط گشت ارشاد اعتراض دارند. مامور گشت ارشاد در پاسخ اعتراض مردم چندین بار توی صورت چند تن اسلحه میکشد. مردمی که با فقر و گرانی دست و پنجه نرم می کنند بر اساس قانون واپسگرای حجاب اجباری باید برای آزاد ساختن خودروی خود پول و جریمه بدهند از زندگی روزمره شان عقب می مانند و همچنین در روند زندگی روزمره شان دچار مشکلات زیادی می شوند. مردم،‌زن و مرد،‌از حضور انگلی #گشت_ارشاد اسلامی که چهل سال است همچون زالو به جان شهروندان افتاده اند و از خون آنها تغدیه می کنند به جان آمده اند. مردم از اینکه هر روز جلوی چشم شان به خواهر و همسر و همکار و دوست و دخترشان اهانت می شود خسته شده اند. مردم از اینکه سال هاست مجبورند در مقابل به اسارت گرفتن زنان جامعه توسط ماموران گشت اسلامی سکوت کنند عذاب می کشند. ماموران حقوق بگیر از مالیات این مردم تا کی می خواهد زنان جامعه را به اسارت ببرند و انتظار داشته باشند که صدای کسی درنیاید؟ ماموران چرا اینگونه مردم را آزار می دهند و بعد در مقابل اعتراض شان به رویشان اسلحه می کشند؟ ‫زنان از تحقیر، سرکوب، زور و اجبار و گروگان گرفتن خودشان توسط یک دیکتاتوری مذهبی خسته‌اند و مردان به حمایت آمده‌اند. ما، تیم ⁧‫#چهارشنبه_های_سفید‬⁩ از تمام فعالان مدنی و رسانه ای و حقوق بشری دعوت می کنیم که این خشونت آشکار را محکوم کنند.‬

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Iranian women’s rights defenders have courageously filmed these incidents as part of the My Camera My Weapon campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the constant harassment and assault that women and girls face in Iran’s streets as a result of forced hijab laws.

The videos were posted online by prominent Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad, based in the USA, who has run a series of high-profile online campaigns against forced hijab. As well as My Camera My Weapon, these include: My Stealthy Freedom, a Facebook page where women in Iran are encouraged to post photos of themselves without headscarves, and White Wednesdays, a campaign which calls on women to protest forced hijab laws by wearing white headscarves every Wednesday.

The increased spotlight on the assaults on women defying laws on forced hijab has been met with a chilling smear campaign by state media against women’s rights defenders calling for the abolition of these abusive laws. There are serious concerns that Iran’s authorities are fueling these assaults in order to silence women at a crucial moment – just as they are gaining the courage to speak out publicly against forced hijab and amplifying their voices through social media.

These brutal assaults targeting women and girls are a violation of their right to be protected from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international law,” said Philip Luther. “Millions of Iranian women are being denied the right to be treated with dignity and to go about their daily lives without fearing violence or harassment.

Iran’s forced hijab laws are a blatant breach of the rights to freedom of expression and religion, and the right to privacy. Women and girls in Iran are not allowed to set foot outside their homes unless they cover their hair with a headscarf and cover up their arms and legs with loose clothing. Under Iranian law, women and girls as young as nine years old who are seen in public without a headscarf can be punished with a prison sentence of between 10 days and two months, or a cash fine. In practice, Iran’s authorities have imposed forced hijab on girls as young as seven years old.

Over the past year, Iran’s authorities have stepped up their crackdown on women’s rights defenders peacefully protesting against forced hijab laws. The most shocking example is the case of prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was sentenced in the past week to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes, in part, for her opposition to forced hijab laws.

The charges on which Nasrin Sotoudeh was convicted include “inciting corruption and prostitution” and “openly committing a sinful act… by appearing in public without a hijab.” Some of the activities that the authorities have cited as “evidence” against her include: opposing forced hijab; removing her headscarf during prison visits; defending women who peacefully protested against forced hijab; giving media interviews about the violent arrest and detention of women protesting against forced hijab; and placing flowers at the scene where a woman protester was violently arrested.

Petition The Release of Nasrin Sotoudeh:

This report was originally published by Amnesty International on March 12th 2019. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits and Tweets added and embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Report: Foreign Trolls Posing As US Veterans Online

A few weeks after Rogue Media Labs first published a report explaining how the Kremlin has started banning all active duty military personnel from social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a new report has surfaced exposing how foreign actors have begun impersonating US Military veterans across social media. Entitled “Foreign Entities Imitating American Veterans Organizations and Sowing Discord with Falsified or Manipulated News” and prepared by the Vietnam Veterans of America, the 11 page report documents how unknown actors have actively begun trying to impersonate and/or infiltrate online groups tied to various US military veterans with the intent of sowing hostility and misinformation.

Presented to the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security last month, the report explains how “similar to widely-reported stories of “troll farms” sowing discord during the 2016 election cycle and specifically targeting veterans, these online entities operate by first appealing to patriotic, Americans, and once they have gained the trust of tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, they begin spreading manipulated and divisive news and other political content.” Considering that this sort of activity only seems to be on the rise across 2017-2018, the Vietnam Veterans of America is claims that getting out ahead of this issue may be “a matter of National Security” headed into the future

View Full Report Here:

Describing how these troll pages/accounts operate, researchers explain how “while most of these pages share junk memes of no significance, the page did occasionally share deceptive or manipulated news and political content that was likely shared to incite an emotional reaction from veterans.” This is interesting to note because in 2017 I specifically remember drafting a report teaching members of the public how to spot troll accounts and/or bots operating online, describing how nearly 100% of the time bot social accounts almost exclusively share inciteful memes just to get people riled up and emotional. Adding that if a social account shares nothing but politically charged memes, has thousands upon thousands of followers and makes random replies to comments that have nothing at all to do with the original comment posted, then in all likelihood you are dealing with a bot account – something seemingly verified by the Vietnam Veterans of America‘s Senate report.

You might also be surprised to know that almost all of the accounts implicated in the report were not created by “the Russians.” For example, the largest troll account uncovered by researchers was actually registered Anonymously through a .eu domain in Bulgaria. Other accounts investigated by the group traced back to the Eastern Europe and Ukraine. Sadly enough though, the group says that they have stopped reporting pages/trolls to Facebook for the time being. Not only has reporting pages been unsuccessful, but the group also notes that “simply shutting down pages does not prevent others from rising in their place, nor does it allow us to find out who is behind them or what their motivations are.” So, much like the FBI’s stance on ISIS terror accounts, Vietnam Vets feels as though it’s more important to keep these accounts active and monitor their activity to gather intelligence, rather than shut them down and force them offline – at least for the time being.

Full Letter To Senate:

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Russia Bans Active Duty Military Personnel from Sharing On Social Media

A couple years ago I remember making the remark that Facebook was the US Intelligence Community’s best friend; it is the single greatest spying tool ever invented. I mean think about it, Facebook users voluntarily submit information about themselves such as their interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies, up to the minute pictures, where they have worked or traveled in the past and links to all their closest friends and family members. Prior to Facebook, do you know how much time, money and effort it would have taken a private investigator or Federal background agency to compile that sort of information on someone? In this way there is no denying that Facebook has absolutely become the worlds single largest/greatest international spying database.

To this very point, yesterday, November 8th 2018, Russia’s legislature officially passed new legislation banning all military personnel from using or posting to social media applications/networks, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Perhaps most interestingly, according to a report from Russia Today, this was specifically done to curb/crack down on international espionage efforts against Russia’s military – to protect soldiers from themselves.

According to the Kremlin, “analysis of the activities of the Russian military revealed that troops are of particular interest to the special services of foreign states and terrorist groups.” Explaining that “The data shared by the servicemen online is used to apply psychological and information pressure on Russia and its military as well as forming biased opinions on state policies of Russian authorities in society.” Therefore, the bill is aimed at eradicating such influence.

With social media activities of Russian troops under scrutiny from foreign spies and terrorists,” the report from RT adds, “new legislation has banned servicemen from sharing data on themselves, and their brothers in arms, online and in the media. The bill outlaws photos, videos, geolocation data and any other information, coming from the troops.” It is important to note that the new law does not effect those retired from military service and does not extend to the spouses of military personnel, the law only applies to those currently serving active duty. Anyone found to be violating this law in the future will be subjected to “disciplinary sanctions from commanders” – including possible jail time.

Full Text of Bill:

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