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You: a Netflix drama everyone needs to see

SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t seen ‘You’, a psychological thriller series on Netflix, look away now!

SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t seen ‘You’, a psychological thriller series on Netflix, look away now!

When the DynaRisk team were alerted to the series ‘You’ it was immediately apparent that it was more than just a binge-worthy new thriller, sparking a number of conversations in the office. The link between the story line and DynaRisk is Guinevere Beck (known as “Beck”), the leading female protagonist, who overshares on social media without protecting herself online – ultimately leading to devastating consequences.

In the pilot episode, Joe Goldberg and Beck’s chance meeting seems like something straight out of a fairy tale. The central characters lock eyes in a New York bookstore, sharing wistful glances at one another as they part ways, hinting at their future romance. But very quickly the story line takes a dark turn and Joe, the archetype of a sweet yet awkward, bookish romantic, reveals himself to be anything but sweet.

Having exchanged names during their meet cute, Joe takes to the internet to find out more about Beck and while most of us can admit to a little Facebook stalking, this is on a different level. Joe is able to gather so much personal information from her public social media pages that he is able to track down where Beck lives, and even manages to gain entry to her apartment.

Later on in the episode, Joe manufactures a situation where he runs into Beck who, extremely intoxicated, needs his help to get home. During the journey her phone falls out of her pocket and dutiful Joe picks it up, but rather than returning the phone he keeps it. He swipes across the screen gaining instant access (surprise surprise, it wasn’t password protected) and Beck unknowingly logs into a new phone using the same Apple ID. Joe is then able to see all her iMessages, access her emails, and more.

While this may sound like a lot for just one episode, ‘You‘ serves to remind us that with just a little determination and an ulterior motive, anything is possible. Beck’s lack of attention when it comes to protecting herself online is something many of us are guilty of, but here’s where she went wrong, playing into the hands of a criminal like Joe…

1. Beck’s social media pages were completely public

Using just her name, Joe was able to find out almost everything he needed to know about Beck – who her friends were, places she liked to hang out and even where she lived! Public profile pages are one thing, but entirely another when a user shares everything they do, every second of the day. From a DynaRisk perspective this type of oversharing is something we’d strongly advise against. Cyber criminals can use information you share online to persuade you of their authenticity in social engineering scams so make good use of privacy settings and ensure that only your connections/friends can see your full profile. We also recommend using 2-factor authentication to keep your account secure.

2. Beck’s phone wasn’t password protected

Joe accessed Beck’s phone in under a second and intercepted messages from her account, allowing him full access to her life. He saw messages between friends which provided him with the information he needed to stalk her, following her to private meetings and more. As cyber security experts we’d suggest protecting all of your devices with unique credentials (such as a pin code or password).

3. Beck did very little to secure her lost phone remotely

This should go without saying, but if you lose your phone and it isn’t password protected – do everything in your power to secure it remotely! This includes logging out of all devices on things like your social media accounts, and attempting to secure the phone itself.  Apple have some tips to protect a lost iPhone, and Google for Android devices.

Ultimately, many of us share personal updates on our social media accounts – after all, that’s the very point – and done carefully it can be an enjoyable way of keeping up to date with friends, news and more. However ‘You‘ highlights the ways in which every update can be used as a clue; dangerous information in the wrong hands.

If you’re not sure how safe you are online, we can help. Sign up to a DynaRisk plan today and access your very own, personalised dashboard complete with a Cyber Security Score and suggested actions to help protect your digital footprint.