The TED clip below is 15 min long (Their usual). The man speaking has a steep Russian accent that can be difficult to follow. However, I think we all need to take the time to follow him (It can be done well and easily if you pay attention). What he has to say is a very strong warning that should be heeded about information and security and our future.
I hope you watched the clip. If you didn’t, this next part will only make a little sense and you won’t get the full impact. What I heard on this clip was the dangerous choice that we have now in our hands concerning our informational security and other sites, especially social media sites like Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.
The problem is furthered by the fact that we cannot totally control all that may be available online about us. I know we think we can, but some of it we gave up long ago and the Internet never forgets. Go Google yourself. Use your full name, then just first and last. Check out your parents, siblings, family. After a bit you may find that, in spite of your efforts, other family members may have posted info that could be harmful to you.
Think of this: I don’t post my real birthday on Facebook. That’s just asking for it. The first year I did it, I received several Happy Birthday notices from other users, as expected. What I didn’t expect was for another close family member to tell all of Facebook that wasn’t my real birthday and they could not understand why I had done it wrongly.
A Google on my own name has told me a lot of info about myself and showed me what others could find. One thing it points out is this blog’s address. No problem. I have accepted this as being very public. Problem is that, to the right people, this may be what they are looking for. Think of this: as careful as I am, my pictures are online; my full name is online; my hometown is online; my school dates are online; my relative and friends’ names are online; my job info is online.
It’s not that this is great info for anyone, but when you add to it what the guy in the clip says, it does get a little scary. I accept that there are some dangers with being online for any reason. I use it and try the best I can to be a low-profile, hard-to-get target for hackers and such. I think I am. However, that does not mean I can’t be hacked; it means I am probably not worth the trouble. Why go after me when there are so many out there who use the same password for so many sites or who use an east-to-guess password, or who divulge a lot of personal info on Facebook?
Watch the clip. Think about it. Don’t worry, just think. Start out by being more careful about what and where you go online. Supplement that by using unique and strong passwords on sites and different ones for each site. Next, do a little research; get your hands dirty. Better informed is better secured.
Love you all.