In today’s world, the internet and social media have a huge impact on our lives. Everyday we scroll through various apps and websites, posting pictures along with videos without a second thought. However, we often forget how potentially dangerous social media can be. By putting ourselves online, we might be putting our lives at risk.
On September 17th, 2019, Habiki Sato was arrested by Tokyo police on suspicion of indecent behavior in connection of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old Japanese pop star Ena Matsuoka in her apartment. The crimes Sato committed were evil and disturbing, but how he was able to find Matsuoka shocked the world. Ena Matsuoka is a famous entertainer in Japan, and she frequently posts on numerous social media sites for her thousands of followers to see. Sato was one of her many followers, and he soon became obsessed with the singer. By zooming in on high resolution pictures of her face, he was able to piece together clues about where she was through the reflections in her eyes. Then, this stalker used Google Maps to match the location to what he saw. Using this method, Sato was able to find the locations of a train station Matsouka used and her apartment building. According to local media reports, he was even able to find which floor Matsuoka lived on based on the position of the windows in her apartment and the angle of the sunlight in her eyes.
In this digital age, we post our location and whereabouts daily without considering who is viewing them. Apps like Snapchat and Instagram are very popular with today’s youth, and they include features that, if not changed in settings, share one’s location with anyone following a user. Students at Hubbard High constantly use their devices, and usually don’t think twice before hitting send. “I don’t really think about who can see what I post online; it doesn’t cross my mind,” said Junior Isaiah Vennetti. Others are more concerned about who can potentially view their location. Junior Sydney Marenkovic explained that she is cautious about what she posts, saying: “I always think about what I post and who will be able to see it. I don’t make my location public.”
Exposing our lives on the internet has become very common and is even encouraged in today’s society. But, by doing so, we are potentially putting ourselves in danger. Protect yourself: review your app’s privacy settings and features, and update these to insure only people you know and trust can view your location. Only friend or add people you know, and always think twice before you post anything online. Otherwise, equally damaging reactions can occur as they did to Ena Matsuoka, and those disturbing memories, unlike a post, cannot be deleted so easily.