Let's Talk About Internet Security

Jan 3, 2020

We all know that there’s certain information we shouldn’t put out in public on the internet. Obviously you don’t share your social security number. You certainly don’t post photos on Twitter of your new custom credit card. (It’s happened. Honest.) There’s a lot of things we all share that maybe we should take a second to think about before posting.

 We’ve all seen the security questions that are meant to be personal to you.

Who is your favorite singer? In what city were you born? What’s the name of your pet? What is your favorite food? What is your favorite sports team? Where did you go to high school?

This information is easy for you to remember and strangers wouldn’t know – until you post it on social media.  Proper security settings on Facebook can help, but also consider what you post in groups; they often feel safer because they’re private or moderated, but you don’t necessarily know who else has been allowed to join.

Say you’re on a Facebook group for alumni of your High School. Someone you don’t know puts up a post talking about where they lived in town. You lived on Maple St. Do you share that?

If you said yes, maybe you should reconsider.  The name of the street you grew up on is a common security question, and you don’t know who is paying attention.

And sometimes it’s even more complicated than that. You may have seen things like this floating around the internet lately…

typical structure of an information phish meme

Except that with a tiny bit of patience, someone truly determined could back into a great deal of personally identifiable information that you didn’t intend on giving them.

Keep in mind, it’s not just security questions that they can take information from, most people are predictable when it comes to passwords. Birthdates tend to figure prominently, and so keeping this information to yourself isn’t a bad idea.

Just a little advice from us to you …

  • Don’t share information that can answer a security question used to unlock an account.
  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Do create varied passwords that are aren’t easy to guess. You probably can’t outsmart a computer, but you should try and outsmart a human who wants into your account.
  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • If you must tag your kitty #HerRoyalHighnesstheDuchessofMeowington … be sure use your other cat as a security question answer.

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