The nation’s Social Security numbering system has left millions of citizens vulnerable to privacy breaches, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, who for the first time have used statistical techniques to predict Social Security numbers solely from an individual’s date and location of birth.
I have become a lot more wary about publishing info about details of my identity. I don't put my birth date on Facebook and similar venues just because I want to reduce my risks of identity theft.
“A botnet can be programmed to try variations of a Social Security number to apply for an instant credit card,” Acquisti said. “In 60 seconds, these services tell you whether you are approved or not, so they can be abused to tell whether you’ve hit the right social security number.”
I get annoyed at financial institutions that use too few password recovery standard questions and that use questions that have answers that are too easy for others to figure out from public sources. Plus, asking a person's favorite pet's name is dumb for two reasons. First off, some names are more popular for dogs. Second, lots of people know the names of current and previous dogs of others.
Some online financial institutions ask user name and password on the same page. A smaller number of others (and I'm not going to mention by name one I use that is better) first ask your user name and then show you a separate password form personalized to you that does a better job of telling you that you really are dealing with that institution. More should do this.
Also, when typing in a password more financial institutions should show you a password quality measure. A few I deal with do. But most provide no indication whether your password will be easy to guess.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 July 06 11:46 PM Comm Tech Society|