Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.
Hacking Is Not Just About Computers
I am not an expert on hacking, but it should be obvious to you by now that hacking is a lot less about technical wizardry and more about gathering the information we all freely give out. Speaking of hacking...
Gaming and Media Networks
How many of us now have accounts with online gaming networks, or online media networks? Sony, Sega and Nintendo have all been hacked in the past month. Did you know about that? Do you have an account with them... an account that lists your details and has your credit card on file? An account which lists a password you may be using for other things?
How much do you trust their PR department to tell you the truth about what "may" have been stolen?
What About Email
In talking about all this new technology I almost forgot to mention something. Email, that electronic replacement for the old paper letter, is not secured in any way.
Thats right, every single email we send to each other is sent Un-Encrypted. This means that any device anywhere on the same network path from sender to receiver can read our emails. Not only this, but the government actually requires business's to store emails for several years. This supposedly does not apply to personal email accounts, but I really dont know.
Even the email we send to each other "could" potentially be being used to gather data on us.
What About All Those Corporate Databases
Its not just Social Media and the Internet that are risky. Consider how many times you get asked at a cash register for your phone number, address or email address (or all of the above). It happens a lot when you think about it. A friend of mine was asked for his phone number and address recently when he purchased a set of wiper blades.
When you sit down and think about it your personal details are probably on hundreds of databases. Do you think every single one of them is secure? If big corporations with huge IT budgets can (be storing your data unencrypted) and get hacked, what about these smaller guys?
Question: Do we really need to be giving out our phone numbers to buy wiper blades?
You Are A Commodity Not A Client
The reality is this, social networking sites are business's. Business's are business's. They are not out to be good or evil. They do not have any morality. They have one purpose only, and that purpose is to make money. The security of your data is only going to be a concern as far it it is profitable.
For a free service like Twitter or Facebook the only way they can make money is either selling you stuff...or selling stuff about you to others. As for other business's, they still want to maximize their profit so they are all for jumping on the bandwagon.
Any business that stores information about you see's you as a commodity first a client second (if at all). I know that sounds harsh but its a simple reality.