Spammers and malware make money - not a lot but that is even MORE scary!
What would someone sell YOUR passwords and login user names for?!
passwords sold for less than a can of Coke
or the much, much more
detailed version at Symantec
to appreciate the cold, hard economics of identity theft.
If someone is prepared to sell an identity for 50p then presumably it didn't
take much effort to acquire it in the first place!
What should you worry about with Spam, PC security etc.?
As expressed strongly in appropriate sections of this site - the foothold or
bridgehead position for many thieves of identity is the e-mail password.
If you use Outlook it is transmitted in clear text every time that you Send
and Receive your mail which some people do even when in Public Internet Access
WiFi access zones. If you use webmail and don't bother to use a secure connection
then it is transmitted - again in clear text - once every time you login to
your webmail system.
Once someone has that username and password combination the hacker can
monitor every e-mail that you receive and gather all the information required
to then go to web sites that you have signed-up to and click on the
'Forgotten my password' link - unless of course you were ....... ......
enough to use the same password as your e-mail!
Don't forget that they can pick up the reminder e-mail, action it AND DELETE IT
WITHOUT YOU EVEN KNOWING in many cases!!
Some web sites have an approach to security that is both comprehensive and
simple enough to catch these problems for instance how often do you REALLY
check that the Date and Time of your last login was when YOU logged in!
Some sites are SO bad at security they could compromise your on-line banking?!
One blindingly obvious example of gross incompetence is that
no system on earth should ever be able to tell you what your password IS!
That would mean that if it had been used elsewhere (e.g. online banking!)
then that could be 'discovered'.
For me, Virgin Mobile were the most memorable in that respect although there
was another company but it wouldn't be in MY best interests to divulge who!
How easy is it to acquire your passwords and user names for?!
That tends to depend very much on how you personally treat PCs, the Web
and connectivity in general.
- are happy to live on the 'bleeding edge of technology' - always taking the
latest software and gadgets and the default settings they arrive with
- profilically use lots of web 'gadgets' - especially on social networking sites
- use Laptops or even e-mail enabled 'phones in public WiFi hotspots
- keep a simple approach to passwords and use the same ones in
several different places
- don't know if your PC has a Firewall, Antivirus and Automatic updates
there is a reasonable chance your details are already in the hands of
people who might want to take over your identity and take whatever they
can of your assets...
Is there a 'solution' that will 'work for you'?
There are no solely technical solutions to the problems described above
other than get rid of all of the technology that the issues stem from.
No matter how sweetly the sirens sing - painless remedies are simply not possible
unless you have so much cash that you can employ a "Technology bodyguard" to
keep you out of trouble.
SECTION to be expanded and structured to stereotypical subsets of
target audience... Not that the content isn't there - it is the formatting
which is the challenge...