How to Disappear Completely
Admit it, you’re not all that important. Sure, you might have the biggest collection of Friends box sets this side of the River Tyne, but truth be told, you’re not that big of a deal. And that’s good! It means you’re not a very tempting target for hackers and other scary types trying to steal info. It’s called security through obscurity.
Last month, Sony, Google, Square Enix, and a whole bunch of others, got hacked in some of the ballsiest digital attacks in a good while. The hackers aren’t just after the big companies’ data, they’re also after the massive collections of emails, passwords, credit card data, and even CVs they keep on file. That means you – even if you do nothing more than register for a blog account – could get a whole chunk of your life stolen.
Here’s how to keep a little safer when you venture out into the scary digital world:
• Disposable Email: many sign-up services that don’t need to contact you just want to get your email to make sure you’re a real person. Since you know you are, get a disposable email address from a site like YopMail. You’ll get an email that will last for long enough to get a confirmation message, and then you can forget the whole thing. Just don’t use it for something like, say, your bank.
• Be Another Person: Your real name is just the start of stealing your identity, so don’t ever let them get that far. For any but the most important sites, use fake names, fake birthdays, fake addresses, fake as much as possible. Even safe-looking sites get hacked, and better the hackers find John Smith’s details than yours.
• Passwords: Fess up – you use the same passwords for a lot. Your bank password is probably the same as the one you use for your Flickr gallery. It’s a pain to remember a whole bunch of random passwords that look like your cat walked on your keyboard. To help you remember, use the first letters from a movie quote or song lyric – something random, but catchy to you. It’ll look like nonsense, but you’ll know what it means, and how to remember it.
• Autocomplete: No, no, no. It’s nifty, it’s handy, but leave it alone and take the extra 2 minutes to type it all out. Don’t save any important data in your browser, in your phone’s apps, anywhere. Keep it in your smart, private little head.