Identity Theft Made Easy

Viz Top Tip… Make identity theft easy by posting a picture of your credit card on Twitter or other social media.

Credit Card

(The airbrushing is mine)

Quite unbelievably, this young lady posted a picture of her new credit card on Twitter – “Ahhhhh my first credit card buzzing aint the word my friends” - and it was retweeted to me. I was tempted to DM her and ask for a picture of the back but that seemed churlish. Dumber than a box of hammers, if you ask me.

Miss Alex Mathewson, congratulations on acquiring your first credit card but you might want to check your new statement for some unexpected purchases.

Guilty of Carelessness

As Todd discussed on his last podcast, LastPass have been very open regarding a possible data breach in their systems. I think they did the right thing but their servers were simply crushed by the rush of people changing their master passwords. But I’m not writing to chastise LastPass. On the contrary, I’m here to admit to being guilty of being careless with my data.

It was probably at least a year ago, if not longer, that I decided to try out LastPass and a couple of other online password storage sites, some of which Todd also mentioned in the podcast. Most of them didn’t work out and while LastPass lasted the longest, even then it finally fell out of favour. Partly it didn’t work all the time but mostly, I just didn’t see the point. Either you want to be secure and type a username / password in every time or else be unsecure and let the browser remember between sessions.

I reverted back to storing passwords in my smartphone in SplashID and it works for me. If I can’t remember a username / password combo for a given site, it takes me a few seconds to look it up on my Pre 2 and I have my Pre 2 with me all the time. All was well until…

When I read that LastPass had an issue…
0 seconds…I don’t use that anymore…
15 seconds….I never deleted the account at LastPass!!!
30 seconds…I never deleted my accounts at any of the online password sites!!!
45 seconds…what were all the sites I tried???

Fortunately, it probably wasn’t as bad as I thought. To start with, most of the online systems I tried only stored a few passwords before I junked them. Secondly, I do change my passwords on a semi-regular basis and finally I was able to track down all the sites and delete my accounts.

However, it’s taught me a valuable lesson – don’t be careless with your information. The fewer places it exists, the less likely it will be to go astray. To back this up, once a year I’m going to sit down and go through all the entries in SplashID. For any websites that I don’t use anymore, I will log on one final time and delete the account or registration.

I suspect these data leaks will get worse before they get better so it’s time to get proactive about controlling your data. Don’t suffer ID theft through your own carelessness. How are you going to make sure that your data isn’t just lying around, waiting to be lost?