A few weeks ago, the Telegraph published fascinating stories about how the “naive heirs” of the super rich were putting the family assets at risk by flaunting their lavish lifestyles on social media. It reported that social media posts were being used as evidence in 75 percent of litigation cases and, in one particular case in which a man claimed to own nothing, one of his children posted pictures of the family’s £12 million super-yacht in the Bahamas.
This is not all that uncommon. There is even a blog dedicated to the “Rich Kids of Instagram.”
But while the “rich kids” are flaunting their over-the-top lifestyles, there is a growing trend for people (especially in the older generation) to be a bit more careful about what they say and do on social media. As more people have been concerned about privacy issues, there has certainly been a trend for people to limit the public access to everything in their stream, to set their profiles to private or to simply post under a fake name.
Especially among the wealthy, who have been targeted for burglary using social media. Except for guys like 50 Cent, who had to explain to the court how he had posed with stacks of $100 bills that spelled out the word “broke” after filing for bankruptcy.
Nevertheless, what the Telegraph story highlights is something that professional snoopers have known for a long time – the Achilles’ heel of snooping on social media is “naive” family members and friends.
You see, while certain types of people have a complete aversion to social media, more often than not, those people around them do not. Nine times out of 10, you will be on social media whether you realize it or not.
We just wrapped up a large background investigation project on about 20 individuals that related to a complex legal matter, and about half of them had absolutely zero social media accounts. But we found photos and other details of their private lives on every single one of them through the Facebook and Instagram accounts held by their children, wives and friends.
So while you (or the person you are investigating) will do everything you can to protect your privacy when it comes to social media, chances are your information is out there somewhere.