Personal Security

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by John Bull, Feb 27, 2011.

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  1. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    London UK
    Forum`s discuss virus`s, malware and all kinds of intrusions/infections linked with an infinite variety of security measures ad infinitum. Fine, but the most important issue concerning the Internet to me is Personal Security.

    The above can wreck your PC, but theft of your credit card or bank details can wreck YOU.

    How can ordinary people like us ensure that our financial data is safe ? We cannot afford the complex and costly systems of big business.

    Use of the Internet for online financial transactions is colossal and forms a major convenience in our lives. But for the thousands who walk through this tunnel with no problems, there are thousands who have their details stolen and suffer significant financial loss.

    A high proportion of this online theft is sourced in Africa, the Middle East and of course the Far East and China.

    Two people I know in my town have suffered severe losses in the Far East and although the banks involved eventually compensated them, it caused enormous worry.

    What can we do to ensure that our financial data is secure from theft ?
    My opinion ? Not much, we have to walk through the Valley of Death and hope it happens to the other guy and not us.

    I would appreciate your comments.


    PS - Internet fraud is BIG. Figures set worldwide Identity Theft at $230 billion and online merchant losses at $700 billion. Personal bank or credit card losses - who knows, but it must be enormous.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  2. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Check that the website you are visiting is reputable, uses SSL/TLS and that the certificate is legit.

    Other than that, there is nothing you can do. For instance, you can't stop a rogue employee at these companies from getting your credit card number and going on a shopping spree. You cannot control how secure their servers are and how well they protect your information. If they are hacked, millions of their customer's data can easily be taken (and this has happened many times).

    Bottom line: once your info leaves your machine, it is not up to you. You just have to hope the other guy has sane security practices in place. The big online retailers are probably OK in this regard, but many smaller guys might not be.
  3. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    Most will not like my answer or my choices, but this is how I avoid identity theft, credit card fraud, etc. I don't use credit cards or put my real identity info online to begin with. I don't trust the entire system. While I'm not worried about my PCs being compromised, there's too many others involved over which I have no control. It's becoming far too common to see
    ... company hacked, 1000s of credit card details stolen..."
    Some of this does involve some big companies too. I assume that everyone remembers the Bank of India. I'd also assume that most realize that these businesses are not admitting the extent of the online fraud and theft that's taking place. There's much more of it than we're being told.

    I would think that most people do their finances online because it's convenient. No need to move anything but your fingers. This convenience comes with other "benefits" as well:
    1, The increased risk of having a lot of money stolen.
    2, The risk of having your identity stolen.
    3, The privilege of having all of your transactions recorded by your friendly big brother, so they can get to know you better. :gack:
    4, The worry and additional stress caused by the above.
    5, The opportunity to pay fees and taxes for all the above.
    6, The opportunity to get even less exercise than you used to and all the health benefits that come with being parked in front of a PC.
    7, The opportunity to have a PC do all of your book keeping, all of the deposit adding and check subtracting, and all of your receipt storage, until you forget how to do it the old fashioned way (pencil?? what's a pencil?).
    8, The opportunity to lose all of this with one hard drive failure, making the expense of a backup drive or location and the software to do it a necessity (so much for the time it saved you).
    9, With an online backup, there's the issue of that being read or stolen as well. Can you verify the integrity of their encryption or that it isn't backdoored?

    Is it really worth it? The internet and a PC are supposed to enhance your life, not take it over.
  4. EncryptedBytes

    EncryptedBytes Registered Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    Diversity and Redundancy, two words to live by.

    As for me the client:

    I do all my banking in off a live CD or VMware environment, where I do not have to worry about root kits or malware. I practice safe browsing when doing my banking by verifying the cert and running without scripts enabled. Most of my institutions have more than 2 factor auth for online transactions so a threat from outside at least on the client end for me is remote.

    As for the institutions themselves:
    I do not keep all my eggs in one basket and make sure if one point on my financial chain fails, there are safeguards in place to compensate me though I would not lose everything.

    Diversity and Redundancy, practice it in computing, and in money and you will not have problems if done correctly. It is all about spreading out the potential risk. Diversify the locations you keep your assets and make sure there is redundancy in the event one link in the chain breaks.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
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