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You’re reading this blog, which means that you’re using the internet. Which means your data is insecure. If you don’t believe me, here’s some evidence. Read it, and you’ll want to lock yourself in an internet-free box for the rest of time… until you get bored with no Twitter. If you want more information, two books I’m reading through that cover the topic pretty extensively are Googling Security by Greg Conti and Steal This Computer Book 4.0 by Wally Wang
- For starters, I bet all your software isn’t up to date. Mozilla just released Firefox 3.6 - have you upgraded? Microsoft released an out-of-cycle patch this week, and there are already exploits all over the place - are you protected?
- Are you using a laptop? Is its hard drive encrypted? If not, what happens if you lose it? What happens when someone else finds it? It might not be millions of social security numbers, but it could mean your credit card data….
- What about thumbdrives? Is the data on your data stick encrypted?
- Ever wondered how email works? It sends your message across two, five, ten, maybe twenty other computers before it reaches the destination you put in the “To:” box. What happens if someone compromises one of those computers and starts reading your email? Will they find it in plain text, or do you encrypt whenever possible?
- Do you use secure passwords? Most people don’t. Do you use just one password for every account you have? Lots of people do. Makes it pretty easy to steal your data if one password (especially an easy one like “12345”) gets someone into every account you have.
- Do the websites you trust actually care about protecting your password? Your account? Your privacy? (Hint: no.)
- What if all your online activity could be traced back to you via your IP address? It can - just like email, it crosses all kinds of other computers before getting to you. Are you using anonymizing tools like Tor/Privoxy to protect your web surfing from snoopers? Do you even know how much data is being collected at every page you visit?