“There is nothing wrong with your television….We are now controlling the transmission….”
This was the narrator’s message at the beginning of the “Outer Limits”. The “Outer Limits” was originally broadcast in the early 60s. Monsters, space aliens, and other strange characters had control of your television while the show was televised.
This situation might seem similar to hackers attacking computers. The rightful owners of the computers have no control over the situation. They are just a captive audience and unable to alter events. Things really aren’t that bad. You do have some alternatives.
Have you protected your computer with a virus scanner? This is the first step to protecting your computer. No computer should be without a virus scanner. There are all kinds of opinions as to which virus scanner is the best but any virus scanner is better than nothing. Common sense is another important component to protecting your computer.
If your computer is protected, are you safe from hackers and identity theft? Did you know that your information may be divulged by someone else? If a bank, government, or other organization hold information about you, your information could be exposed through no fault of your own.
Think about it. What happens if hackers break into a large retailer computer? Customer information is available to the hacker. All information on file could be compromised and made available to the hacker. You might think that no one is interested in your personal information. You have nothing to hide. Think again. Would you believe that hackers have clearing houses for identity information?
Anyone who has worked in the medical industry is aware of HIPPA rules. Information about patients is confidential. Health care facilities are extremely serious about conforming to the privacy regulations. Any health care worker who doesn’t abide by the rules is usually immediately terminated.
While you can’t police all the places that hold information about you, you can make it more difficult to mine data about you. When you are queried for information, provide disinformation to anyone who doesn’t have a valid reason to know things about you. Who cares if the retailer doesn’t have accurate information about you? Give them fake information.
Why does Facebook need to know your birthday? Why does Facebook have to tell the world your birthdate?
Retailers are notorious for asking for information but they aren’t very attentive to protecting personal information. You can easily find news stories of multiple data compromises. Why does a store need your social security number if you don’t hold a line of credit from the store?
You need to be vigilant and protect your information because no one else has your best interest at heart.