It seems that overnight Periscope became a widely used Social Media platform. It’s everywhere. Via Web or App, anyone can watch another persons Live Stream of anything they want to show. It’s the instant status update that is Twitter, but in video and audio form.
Periscope is a way of communicating instantly with anyone by live streaming your mobile phone camera and microphone across the internet. And yes, it can be fun. Today I was a car passenger accompanying a student driving home to Astoria, I watched a guy restore his bowling ball by baking it in his oven (yes, really), and toured countless News Studios from around the world. I’ve even watched astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield give a detailed explanation on how his fridge works, complete with detailed diagrams.
But how safe is it?
As an example, I can tell you a bunch of log-in passwords for a popular US News Broadcaster because it was written on their computer monitors. I can tell you how far it is in steps from another stations Live Gallery Control Room to the Studio Floor because I’ve toured the building with them. I can tell you which doors require a security pass and which ones they wedge open. I can tell you who sits at what desk, and their job title…
Security Services around the world must be rubbing their hands with glee! But is this information unknown people should really know? Do I really need to know any of this? Should they really know any of this?
Another example is knowing where someone keeps their car keys, that they don’t lock their front door, their vehicle number plate and the street they live on. They also have good taste in technology because inside their house is a huge 3D TV, an iPad and MacBook Pro. They have two kids, no pets and no security system…
Getting the picture yet?
The irony is that a periscope is used to keep a submarine completely submerged and hidden, yet still see out to the world above. Whereas the Periscope App is doing the reverse, allowing people to go inside the submarine and study all its inner workings, whilst staying completely hidden themselves.
Without taking precautions, people are giving strangers the tools and inviting them into their offices. And their homes.
Don’t stop using Periscope just because of a little scaremongering. If you feel the need to be a ‘Scoper, just follow these sensible precautions:
Minimise the amount of personal data you are broadcasting. If your location isn’t important, turn off the Location setting.
If you’re in a working environment, don’t give away information which could help breach Security; cyber or physical.
Don’t use Periscope if you are the driver of a moving vehicle! A distracting video screen means you are not in proper control of your vehicle. You are also likely to be breaking the law, depending on your country. It’s also morally irresponsible.
Has your boss authorised the use of Periscope in the workplace? If not, don’t do it!
Don’t give out personal and private details just because someone asks. Especially about your family.
Reduce the possibility of random strangers by streaming only to known Followers.
Periscope is a fun way to say hello to the world. It’s immediate, it’s live and it’s addictive. But it’s only as secure as those who use it. You wouldn’t invite a group of complete strangers into your home and give them a personal tour, would you? Think about the information you are freely giving out. And if anyone asks to see your fridge, block them immediately.