Internet Security – Personal Considerations

Posted by kypoth-Alex on Sep 17, 2009 in Online Security |

If you’re concerned about your on-line security, good, you should be. If you’re not, then prepare for the worst. Having your credit card abused by Somali warlords is one thing, but if someone steals your identity, you’re going to have a time trying to prove to the government, global corporation or the baliff banging on your door that you are you and not the other person who has re-mortgaged your house or cleaned out your life savings.

So don’t put your middle name on social networking sites, remove your birthdate from all those loyalty sites you’ve signed up for (I use a fake birthday if I have to, bit like the Queen), don’t use your off-line security question (like your mother’s maiden name) on any websites, basically any information that might give someone a headstart in applying for e.g. a credit card in your identity.

Be cautious on-line. You wouldn’t walk down the high street with your cards pinned to your chest like badges, so don’t do the same on-line. Using a credit card (more protection than a debit card) with reputable companies over encrypted connections (look for the locked padlock in your browser) shouldn’t be a problem, but having said that, it’s known that Paypal have been hacked of bank details, etc, so you take your own risk. If you use one credit card for just online sales, then it will at least contain the damage to that card.

Unless you know your computer is virus-free, don’t use on-line banking. Definitely don’t be tempted to use on-line banking on a public computer – call them via phone instead. It’s possible that a virus can change the final destination of a web page (known as a DNS hijack) so that even if you type, your browser ends up going to instead. And they will have cleverly copied the pages of highstreetbank (easily – just go to the real site and it’s all there) to make it look as though nothing is untoward at all.

Your computer may be in the comfort of your living room, but the internet is a big, bad world you should be careful in. Trust no-one with personal info unless you know 100% that they’re genuine.

Have a look at the site below for more information…
Microsoft Online Security

Tags: ,

Post a comment