Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

This is post 2 on the Online Privacy Please! series I am writing to share with you my thoughts on issues of online privacy!

On many occasions I see TMI (Too Much Information) being shared in Social Media without people understanding the repercussions it could have by having vast data shared everywhere as part of your digital footprint.

As part of the series of posts Online Privacy Please! that I decided to do I wanted to identify data that is constantly being shared online which can lead to other issues. In others posts in the series I will be touching upon the following but not limited too:

  • How Organizations Deal with your Information.
  • Most Common Threats on Privacy
  • How to defend yourself from threats and vulnerabilities
  • Based on our friend @raul_ramos recommendation we will be touching on Facebook Security issues from that platform’s point of view.

If you would like to submit an article on the subject or like us to elaborate on a specific subject feel free to leave the idea in the comments area or contact us.

Who is responsible for protecting information?

Everyone is responsible for security especially protecting information. But we have to make our selves accountable first. Working on the IT Security side for various banks I would see how the bank’s customers where the first ones to throw papers with sensitive information in thrash cans near the bank. I am sure that many of them if they got their identity stolen or money taken from their account they would blame the bank first.

Always be aware of what information you should share and where it end up. Many people think that only friends and family are seeing the information but in reality once it is online and traceable by the many search engines you have no control on who can see what you just posted.

Information I want you to think Twice before posting online?

 

Birthday greetings sent and received

  • Many people congratulate and celebrate everyone’s birthday online. Be very careful with sharing any other information that can determine the exact birthdate. I guess we all do it I just took off my Birthday from Facebook and I recommend you to do the same. It is great to get people congratulating you on your birthday but it is also a huge risk.

Photos of Family vacations

  • Depending on the type of work you do be very careful when uploading family vacation pictures. Not only do most people tag everyone’s name in the pictures people are able to identify visually that your closest family members are. I have seen one or two scams where they trick the person in believing they have their family member hostage. They are able to describe the person thanks to all the great photos a family member shared online.
  • If you upload photos while being on vacation you are also letting the world know your house is probably empty and you are not coming soon at any moment creating an immediate risk to your assets.

Names of Extended Family

  • I see how people share their mother’s maiden name or something as simple as their pet’s name. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t use any of those as your security questions and answers. Let’s say I use a security question for my online banking example:

Question: What is your Pet’s name?

Answer: Juanga

Everyone who knows me offline or online knows that  good old Juanga is a celebrity online so it might not be the best option for a security question.

  • Third Party Apps that collect your favorite items information (favorite songs, musicians, books, celebrities, and food) can probably be harvesting your personal information so they can try to take over your online profiles from as simple as your email account to your online banking profile. Be careful with apps that are supposedly asking you information that is personal to you just for fun. A good example of one of those apps are the one’s that will tie you to a well-known celebrity based on a series of questions. I would stay away from those types of apps.

Work Related Information

  • This category of people sharing too much information that is work related worries me a lot. From people complaining about how many more hours they have to work to some of them writing negatively about there clients. I plan to have a post related to this area covering more details as part of this series.

Photo credit by WarmSleepy

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous on May 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    From the beginning I took my birthday information off of Facebook. I also read somewhere that if you do need to give your birthdate on a certain site, give a fake one.



    • Raul Colon on May 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      Great Advice Lucy.. Might be starting to do that!