Saturday, December 31, 2016

Secret electronic communications (there is no such thing)

No text, no email, no electronic communication is safe and secure, not in the top levels of our government, not in the biggest companies on our planet. So, why would anyone text or email anything that you wish to remain a secret? Is it criminal or just stupid? Firewalls, encryption, spam filters, no anti-mal-ware, virus, Trojan protectors---nothing makes your emails or texts safe, private, or secure. So, piece of advice #1: Don't send anything via your computer, tablet, phone, that you'd be uncomfortable sharing with the world, OR anything that might cost you money. Then, Piece of advice #2: Don't open emails or ever click on links in emails that you are not 100% certain are safe (and now go back and read the title of this post). I work for one of the largest companies on earth, we own a technology company, we spend huge amounts on data security, hardware, software, training---and probably have one of the safest networks available, yet, we never stop working to safeguard information. But, look around, at Yahoo (billions of accounts compromised), Target (110 million), Adobe (150 million), Ebay (145 million), and now we hear the DNC was hacked. Those people, those companies, spend millions on IT security, they're not stupid, not even careless, typically; but, in spite of the best efforts of some very smart people, they got hacked. MORE, a person I work with had her identity stolen recently. Her personal information was taken from her dentist's office and with that information the thief opened new accounts, ran up balances of thousands of dollars, and it took her nearly a year to get it all sorted out. Does your dentist, doctor, hairdresser, plumber, on-line store have your personal info? Like Amazon, maybe, or iTunes, perhaps. If a bad guy knew what iTunes knows about you, he good bankrupt you. We give in to the convenience of leaving info to providers of goods and services and I understand that, but it increases the risk immeasurably. Don't do it. If you trust me, check out this link from the Federal Trade Commission or look around on line for tips on how to protect yourself.

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