A site called Please Rob Me has been created to highlight the problem that most people don’t make the connection between personal information and security. People are putting way too much information online through twitter and social networks. Note that I said ‘information’ – not just stuff like credit card numbers and other private data. Announcing to the public that you are not at home is like having a ‘kick me’ sign on your back. It’s even worse, because you put the sign on back yourself!

A few years ago, there was a rash of burglaries in the Washington D.C. area. All of the burglaries happened in the fall during football season. It was discovered that all the homes that had been burglarized had received anonymous tickets to watch the Redskins play. Redskins tickets were really hard to get, so many of the people who got the tickets went to the game. The bad guys then watched the homes that had received tickets and waited as the homes cleared out for the afternoon. The bad guys figured out that paying even hundreds of dollars for each ticket was a cheap investment compared to what they could steal from the homes. Many people who should have thought twice about the free tickets, didn’t give it a second thought and opened themselves to being violated by the burglars.

Online security is about more than passwords and secure online ordering. YOU are responsible for your security. Pattern your online behavior after your face-to-face interactions and you’ll be safer.

Check out this article in the BBC.

Peter L