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Stupid Things You do Online to Compromise Your Identity

Stupid Things You do Online to Compromise Your Identity by Dovell BonnettLifehacker posted a great article called The Stupid Things You Do Online (and How to Fix Them). Here are some of additional comments that may also be helpful.

Stupid Thing #1: You Undervalue Your Personal Data

Did you know that when a company goes through valuation by a venture capitalist the number of email accounts is reviewed? So while you might not value your information, corporate America does.

Stupid Thing #2: You Submit Sensitive Information Over an Insecure Connection

Besides the https:// servers, users also have to have anti-malware protection that blocks keylogger programs from capturing your credit card information. Use an electronic wallet application that allows you to input credit card information without typing it. 

Stupid Thing #3: You Feed the Trolls

I can’t add much more here.

Stupid Thing #4: You Leave Private Information in Your Web Browser

Sadly, the number one group responsible for committing identity theft is spouses. Other things to protect your accounts include: 1) not saving passwords in the browser, 2) don’t click those “save my password” boxes, 3) don’t use the same password everywhere and 4) use complex passwords that are changed periodically. I recommend a multi-factor password manager that blocks family and friends from getting into your accounts if they are on your computer.

Stupid Thing #5: You Don’t Keep a Backup of Online Data

Also, if you must backup data using online services, encrypt the data before uploading. You don’t know where your data is really being stored and if there are any backdoors in the service’s encryption algorithm. Remember, if there is a security breach at the online service you are still responsible and liable for compromising your customer’s private information.

Stupid Thing #6: Assuming Your Posts and Comments Are Anonymous

Unless you are really skilled, McGee of NCIS fame will find you. Corporate Human Resources department are looking more at a candidate’s Facebook account and less on a resume. So think first before you hit or click that submission button.

Stupid Thing #7: You Let People Track Your Whereabouts

It is fairly easy to track if a person is going to be home. Here’s how: 1) Pick your targets. 2) Send them informative emails and establish a Twitter and Facebook relationship. 3) use the target’s own Facebook account to find other family members of your target. 4) Build a social media relationship with those family members. 5) and sit back and wait for that “Out Of Office” reply, check all of the social media for comments from the family member and 80% of the time you will know when a house will be vacant. So, maybe you want to tell your kids what and when to place information on their fan page.

Stupid Thing #8: You Use an Insecure Password That You Rarely (or Never) Change

This is the topic closest to my heart and I have written many articles, posts, a book and white papers on this topic. Please check out my website for tips and topics about securing passwords. When picking any password manager solution you need to also evaluate how the individual actually authenticates themselves to the service. Also there is a big difference between commercial and corporate password management products and solutions.