Identity & Security – Primer

Over the past decade, government intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens, regardless of nationality or location, has been getting to ridiculous levels now. Edward Snowden even highlighted the fact that the NSA can snoop on anyones webcam, microphone, smartphone, etc, whenever they damn well feel like.

There are some immutable facts that have to be addressed:

  • Any form of digital or electronic system was created by a person/group/company.
  • Every digital or electronic system, no matter how secure, is able to get broken into by a third-party sooner or later.
  • Installing official back doors that only governments or authorities can access means anyone can access them, given time, social engineering, or just getting a job with said government/authority.
  • The meta-data that comprises your identity as a person, can be used for more than just credit card fraud. You could be the profile of a botnet, you could be used to open accounts elsewhere, you could be used as a fake identity for a troll or criminal.
  • Nothing is 100% secure. Ever.

Depressing, isn’t it? It gives the impression that there’s nothing you can do and you’re doomed to be played by anyone slightly higher up on the digital food-chain. However, there are ways you can mitigate the chances of being hacked.

STOP USING THE SAME PASSWORD FOR EVERYTHING!

At the very least, don’t use the password you use for your email for anything else. The email address you use to sign into various services and networks is like the golden ticket for anyone looking to misbehave. Once your email has been secured, they can reset the password on every and any account associated with it. So not only does your email go, so does your facebook, your twitter, your amazon prime, your netflix, etc. etc. etc.

Jesus christ, use a password manager and 2 factor authentication.