The lack of security and privacy just gets worse by the day…


The invasion of our privacy and the almost wholesale release of huge amounts of private data on the web continues unabated ….and seemingly getting worse!

Let’s look at some examples:

  • On May 24, KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that First American had just fixed a weakness in its Web site that exposed approximately 885 million documents — many of them with Social Security and bank account numbers — going back at least 16 years. No authentication was needed to access the digitized records”

  • INC reveals that “more than 500 million Facebook user records were potentially exposed by third-party developers that had access to personal data when they were posted to Amazon’s cloud computing service without any security or encryption. And the company is currently the subject of a federal criminal investigation over data-sharing deals.”

  • Google is the same way. Despite the recent announcement that it will let users automatically delete their history after three or 18 months, you still have to know it’s an option, navigate through the settings, and then make the changes.

  • Also from INC“Microsoft’s service suffered a major breach earlier this year. The compromise allowed hackers to potentially access user email accounts, and that was the case for more than six months. This news was no shocker. Outlook has always been, and continues to be a perennial target.

  • Saying that email is a major service of the Internet is a bit like saying Donald Trump doesn’t like CNN. Email is foundational. In fact, it pre-dates the Internet by decades. (Lest we forget, the first email was sent in 1971).

  • Email currently has a 90.1% penetration rate among Internet users in the United States, compared to 68% for Facebook and 23% for Twitter. It’s the main communication tool for 95% of businesses. Email addresses are still the main way we authenticate ourselves to do business online, and because of that email as a category represents an extremely weak link in our collective cybersecurity. It doesn’t have to be this way, but as Yogi Berra once said, “We made too many wrong mistakes.”

What can you do about all of this?  Take steps such as limiting where, and to whom, you give out personal details, limit use of social media and become the sole custodian of all your private data by using LifeBank.