Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Computer Trails: How Stupid Is Stupid?

We see it over and over, in situation after situation. People up to all kinds of  mischief keep leaving computer records of their deeds, as if they left no records behind them. It's not just the Trumps being stupid so publicly, or fraternity brothers after a hazing turns deadly texting their girlfriends.

Having an affair? Texting your honey? Think you'll never get caught?

Cheating your company? Think the transfer of funds is hidden?

Bullying a classmate? Think you're anonymous?

Videotaping your break-in and vandalism or theft for some warped idea of bragging rights? Think nobody can identify you? Better yet, think nobody has security cameras either inside the store or covering the street from two doors down?

Sending nasty comments about your boss over the company email?

Posting sex tapes thinking they're private?

Got your most sensitive company records on the same network as your email and browsers?

Seriously, how stupid is stupid, really?

Remember this: if it's sent over the internet, it's not - NOT! - private.

Somewhere a record is kept. Someone is willing to share it. Somebody is willing to hack your data. Somebody wants to get paid for your information, if not simply using it themselves. You may be perfectly innocent and still perfectly stupid.

Even your best precautions may not be good enough. You can change your most obscure passwords regularly, use different ones for different accounts, install the latest security software, stay out of wi-fi public networks, scramble and encode everything. Somebody can still break through.  Somebody will. Just because you don't know how to, don't trust that nobody else will figure it out.

And by the way, teach your kids, too, that the internet isn't private. It is possible to be a little less stupid, at least for some of us. Some never learn.

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