How Identities Are Stolen
When it comes to identity theft, the first step in protecting yourself is learning what thieves are doing to steal your personal information.
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Interesting that LIFELOCK doesn’t have their commercials on their websites. GODADDY, boo hisss sopa-lover, integrates their hyper-sex commercials with their website (i.e., the TV commercial points to the X-rated version and the website has both the TV version and the “X-rated one. I’d dispute the X rating. Yeah, they sucked the lecherous me to watch. I, of course, did it from a technology and moral arbiter pov. Just so you didn’t have to endure it.) LIFELOCK misses the opportunity to reinforce their message.
MORE interesting, is that LIFELOCK’s TV commercial points out the flaw in what I’ll call secondary authentication and what the banks call “easy password recovery”. Argh! Those “password reset” questions are really passwords controlling the reset function. Mother’s Maiden Name, Date of Birth, Pet’s Name.
I know why the banks and others do it. They don’t want the expense of fielding a telephone call for a password reset. (When I was at CSFB, I figured each one cost “me” 45$. I figured a clever way to “solve” that problem at ZERO cost. Hire me and I’ll share it.)
So, how does the average User defend themselves?
(1) Never ever use these resets for the named purpose? For examples, “Mother’s Maiden Name” for me might be “TAYLOR_SWIFT”; DOB for me is 10/19/62 (Cuban Missile Crisis); Pet’s name is “58#ae#MK#Es#82”. All carefully captured on paper.
(2) Use a tool like LASTPASS, KEYPASS, or 1PASSWORD for NON-FINANCIAL uses.
(3) Use real passwords that you memorize or write down in your calendar or note book for FINANCIAL sites.
(4) Always insist that FINANCIAL institutions or SERVICE PROVIDERS send you a paper bill. Upon receipt, take the statement and review it. Initial EVERY page.
(5) Never permit any one or any thing to have direct access to your financial accounts. (Made that mistake once.)
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