You have zero privacy anyway, Get over it! – Scott McNealy ~ 1999
What is the real fuss all about?
In real life we have privacy, well kind of, no stranger can enter our houses still? Well think again from an evil strangers perspective, there are layers of security already there that ensure our security:
People: Police,Neighbours,House occupants,Passerby,You.
Q: So why is it that the digital security has caused so much trouble?
A: Each and every individual (You) & their digital account (your) is a potential target for the evil stranger!
Here’s the simple math: online world population x online accounts per person == potential virtual estate targets for the evil stranger!
Assuming that a person has a single email account atleast, the online world is as insecure as the real world, add to the mix these accounts are held by anyone from 8+ years to 60+ age with varying degrees of meaning of security in their minds!
Defining the attacks
All attacks can be broadly arranged into these 2 categories!
- Illegal entry (un trusted)
These attacks are generally entrusted to be taken care by the system you are connected to! Say you go a friends place for a dinner; you would not expect to take care about your food from the dacoit running on the streets! You would trust your friends premise would take care of this already, any mischief would be assumed to be an illegal entry actually questioning the system as a whole!
- Pretending to be someone else (trusted)
Its not just people, systems can now also presume our identities and hence are subject to being trusted or not! When this happens, the systems can be abused on behalf of an individual. So it is not just a stranger mis-using your credit card, but worse, a lesser-known stranger!
The Warrior Approach
Every digital identity is under attack, and like in the real world, a responsible citizen keeps their ears and eyes open, in our digital avataar, we ought to think likewise!
There is no fool-proof way to secure your digital identity except taking care of known best practices! You break the rule; you end up paying the price depending on where you committed the mistake!
- Choose better passwords
a)Create/Update and change your existing account passwords from here http://passwordsgenerator.net/b)If you have a number of connected systems and too many passwords to manage, think about getting a password management system(they are not safe too!) or best keep them in an offline system with a ready access!
- Never trust a new system
The least you trust a new system, its fun when it turns out to be totally trustworthy, and if not atleast you don’t end up loosing a fortune!
Use this mantra in life too, good results recommended! 🙂
- Never trust a known system too much!
Know your limits, you own your body totally, but a flu attack can happen on the best of days uninvited!
Even your trusted disconnected home system is subject to virus attacks from the chinese-make pen-drive!
- You are as secure as the world around us!
The equation of trusted<->non-trusted keeps getting updated regularly, that keeps the battle on between the evil strangers and the white hats!
- Question Everything!
If you are not finding the answers, start looking for the right ones elsewhere! Don’t take anything for granted, for the but obvious, have an inquisitive mind!
Few years into the future, and these practices might not change, only the systems we interact and correlate with will keep upgrading!