With social media networks becoming more and more advanced every day, the risks associated with such networks have also increased multi-fold. In a new and terrifying development, an online stalker found the location of a Japanese pop star's home by seeing the reflection of a train station in her eyes.
NHKWorld Japan reported that twenty-six year old Hibiki Sato has been arrested last week for stalking and groping a Japanese pop star, whose identity has been withheld. He stated that he was "a big fan".
He further revealed that he got a clue about the address by finding a train station that was reflected in her eyes, in a close-quarter selfie. He then used Google Street View to find the station, waited for her and followed her to her Condominium in Tokyo. He further tracked the exact apartment she lived in, using videos she had posted on social media, which showed how the curtains were positioned and how the light shone through the windows.
He then put a towel on her mouth, pulled her down, groped and injured her. This was a terrifying experience for the woman and a lesson for the Tokyo Police.
According to Shuichiro Hoshi, a professor at the Tokyo Metropolitan University, who is an expert on the risks of social media, technology has become so advanced that personal information can leak without the person having any knowledge of how and when it happened. He warns that social media images can give away all kinds of personal information to online stalkers.
It is advisable not to post information on social media that reveals where you live – for example, smartphone images taken at your home or on routes that you frequent. Automatic geotagging of your photos should be avoided as these contain metadata that can reveal your location.
This is a cautionary tale for people at risk of online stalking.