How secure is your identity online?

It’s really not secure at all. It doesn’t take much for anyone to learn basic facts about you. Those that fear the internet for security reasons are wise and those who do Facebook, online banking and other random things on the internet are foolish.

The above statement is actually very true and you can pick one extreme or the other as a place to land, if you want. It’s completely your choice.  But what is your choice based on? Fact or fiction?

Fact #1: Facebook and other sites like it expose your personal data for all to see, including bad people who want to steal your identity and stalk you.

Fact #2: People who ignore Fact #1 are foolish.

There is a Fact #3, do you know what fact is?

I read an interesting article at Windows Secrets last week titled Windows Secrets Personal Security Baseline and it addresses security on the internet.

Facebook is one thing but you also need to be careful about online banking and online shopping and other aspects of being online.  Websites will have you store the answer to a secret question for password recovery, such as:

  • Your childhood best friend?
  • The street you grew up on?
  • The name of your first dog?
  • Your mother’s maiden name?

If you answer the same question at every site, once I, the social hacker, master that one question, I am in. I potentially have access to your bank account, your Amazon account, eBay, Bass Pro Shops and many others.

One tip would be to mix up the answer to that secret question, just don’t forget your made up answer.  That’s just one idea that I read in the Windows Secrets article.  I could re-iterate the entire thing for you but it would be better for you to go read it yourself, very much worth your time.

Oh yeah, have you figured out what Fact #3 is yet?

Fact #3: Be smart and be aware online, monitor your privacy settings on Facebook and ensure you are not broadcasting personal information such as your phone number and address to complete strangers.  Like many things, don’t land on one extreme or the other, pick somewhere in the middle.

Be careful, be aware and make smart decisions about your online presence.

By the way, I am barely scratching the surface here. What are your thoughts on online safety?

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