Robert Siciliano: Fraud & Security
From identity theft to personal safety, surviving in today’s world is a matter of proactive threat protection.
Firsthand experience, moral ethics, and acquired knowledge has crafted a message one man calls out to all citizens: Americans must take action to protect themselves from cyber and physical crime. He’s on the frontlines of battling personal and privacy intrusion by educating and empowering his fellow man. He says, “Privacy is an illusion. Privacy doesn’t exist, and it hasn’t existed for quite a long time.”
Robert Siciliano is an expert in security awareness, fraud, and personal safety. He carries his message in a unique style, melding boldness and know-how into real-world solutions. Major media outlets, corporate execs, thought leaders, and others have benefited from his insight. These leaders of industry seek his expertise to obtain the blunt truth of his assessment —what they’ve missed in their bubble of perceived safety.
His aim is to inform and educate, helping industry leaders as well as the average Joe from becoming a statistic. He says, “There always has been, there is now, and there will always be a criminal predatory element stalking their next victim. Being proactive and knowing your options are essential.”
His Driving Force
Robert Siciliano became the man he is today while in Boston, Massachusetts. One day, as he and his little brother headed to a Red Sox’s game, they were confronted by five boys who beat them to take their money. This occurred when he was just 12 years old. After the incident, his father saw his children in such a horrific state, he wisely told them that in the animal world, the predators are the lions in the hunt for survival, so the antelope must sometimes die. He said to his sons, “You were the antelope to those boys.”
The fire that lit Siciliano’s passion ignited just a year later. Our hero was in summer camp where he met his first crush. This time, his lesson on the nature of predation came from an entirely different aspect. The girl he had a crush on confessed to him that she’d been raped by her stepmother’s boyfriend. His father had already explained sexual assault during “the talk.” It made an indelible impact on him.
Siciliano decided to take on some training in the defensive arts which ultimately led to forming a bodyguard and personal safety business. Things were rolling along until 1995, when a cybercrime was perpetrated on his company. Credit card fraud led to thousands of dollars being stolen from him.
This incident became another impetus in his life to learn more, moving him closer to his final field of expertise. He studied the methods used by cybercriminals. It is important to note that in 1995, there was no Facebook or PayPal, the Internet was in its early stages of public use and websites were very rudimentary. Cybercrime was far-reaching as new systems came online and penetration tactics made them easy targets especially for financial crime.
He continued his education and attended Boston University earning a certification in Private Investigations followed by accreditation as a Certified Speaking Professional (National Speakers Association).
His Message Loud and Clear
It’s been over two decades of practical experience since Siciliano’s inauguration into the field of security. These years have been pivotal in the perfecting of his message, his rhetoric, and all that culminates into his goal: intrusion prevention and continuous protection. During that time, he was also putting his vision on paper. In 1996, he wrote his first book, Safety Minute: 01: How to be Safe in the Streets, at Home, and Abroad So You Can Save Your Life. This book is about the fundamentals of self-defense and catapulted his career into the cream of the crop. In essence, his knowledge was in demand.
This was evident during his first national broadcast appearance in which Montel Williams set him up to showcase his expertise. Williams and his producers created circumstances and asked Siciliano to put himself in the shoes of the criminally inclined. He went on to demonstrate how he could enter a resident’s home posing as a utility worker. When the new millennium rolled around, his thoughts on home invasion, stalking, abuse, and security were highlighted on the talk show circuit.
Taking a candid common-sense approach, his message is clear for anyone to understand. You can learn some interesting security tips by watching his video:
To drive home his message, he says, “I guarantee you at one point in your life, you have given up all of your privacy for 10 percent off at a shoe store, or hardware store or to get a credit card for some type of purchase. You have given up your name, your address, your phone number, and your Social Security number for 10 percent off.”
After 9/11, he became a news commentator. Many networks had more than enough subject matter for him. America had, and still is, becoming a melting pot of tragedy. Shootings were rampant. Terrorist scares were prevalent. And of course, privacy issues became and remain a hot topic.
In September of 2009, he conducted an experiment proving how easy it was to buy a retail ATM. For only $750, Craigslist essentially provided a personal information scanner. Later, when the information became public, he forced the ATM industry to change its ways and up security.
A Harbinger of Security Vulnerability
All in all, Siciliano has been an industry icon forewarning us of security risks and teaching us proactive prevention. He serves on the board of directors for the Identity Theft Resource Center. He has developed strategies for companies and organizations all around the country. As a keynote speaker, his ideas on fraud prevention and personal safety have created a huge following. He has been a speaker for notable associations such as these:
- Industrial Asset Management Council
- Meetings Professionals International
- Women in Insurance and Financial Services
- National Association of Credit Managers
…and many others with hearts and minds having been enlightened and fortified.
He’s authored seven additional books on the subject, such as Identity Theft Privacy (2018), 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen (2011).
We can thank Robert Siciliano for making us a little safer in this world. As a defender of rights, privacy, and justice, we can all sleep just a little better, knowing at least one expert is helping to protect our basic rights. Find out more about Siciliano and his great safety tips you can use right away at safr.me. Click here for our exclusive Q&A with Robert Siciliano.