Rise In Identity Fraud Tied To Smartphone Use | Victory Motorcycles: Motorcycle Forums

Rise In Identity Fraud Tied To Smartphone Use

Discussion in 'Other Topics' started by Andy, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Andy

    Andy Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    As your friendly site Admin, I spend quite a bit of time attempting to stay up to day on way to make this site as safe as possible. Don't worry, there's hasn't been a security breach, but I just finished reading an interesting story about Identity Theft and some basic things we can do to minimize the opportunities given to potential Identity Thieves. I've said it many times on this site and I'll say it again... Don't post personal information on this or any public forum. Yes, it happens. People post a home address, phone number and other personal information online quite a bit these days. In this day and age we really have to be very careful about the information that's posted for all to see as Identity Theft has become a huge business for scoundrels. That's the main reason why The VOG asks so little information about our Members during registration and a big reason we don't charge for usage on this site...I don't want the liability of holding people's credit card and other personal information online. In the story I referenced (link below), you'll read that the vast majority of smartphone users don't place a password on their phone. While just about any password can be hacked, it's still a great idea to use one on your phone. Just having a password could keep others from obtaining the information you've placed in your contacts, emails, documents and other areas on your smartphone. Yes, phones are easy to lose, so why make the information stored on your phone easily accessible? Take a moment and activate the password feature. Using the iPhone as an example, there's a default "simple" four digit password that the user can set as well as a time setting that tells the phone when to go into lock down and require a password to access the phone. Many iPhone users may not realize they can turn the simple passcode settings off and enter a more complex password, that makes it extremely difficult for others to access your data. Yes, it will take you an additional five seconds to enter your password, but that's a heck of a lot better than that eerie feeling you'll get if you lose your phone and are wondering who is accessing your personal data. There's also settings you can use that if your phone is lost, the data can be wiped from the memory remotely. This is a great feature and I'll recommend that everyone take a moment to make sure that their phone is properly registered to use this feature. Yes, this is Off Topic for a motorcycle forum, but since so many users access this and many sites via smartphones, I feel it's a responsibility for any Site Admin to remind the users not to post personal information and to make sure their modern conveniences don't turn into awful headaches. Here's the story on ID Theft from Reuters: Rise In Identity Fraud Tied To Smartphone Use [link='http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/23/uk-idtheft-javelin-idUSLNE81M01H20120223']http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/23/uk-idtheft-javelin-idUSLNE81M01H20120223[/link]
     
  2. spicoli512

    spicoli512 Member

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    Andy, I noticed this site asks you for your birthday when you complete your profile. I found this strange. Is this a profile field you may want to delete to avoid the temptation of putting real data?
     
  3. spicoli512

    spicoli512 Member

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    Actually, I see where you can modify your profile to display only your age in PRIVACY SETTINGS
     
  4. spicoli512

    spicoli512 Member

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    Right now many members are openly displaying their birthday in their public profile. You can adjust this to show your age only or nothing at all. To modify this go: Settings -> Privacy Settings -> Profile -> Date of Birth -> Change to HIDE MY AGE AND DATE OF BIRTH or display Age only
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    The reason this is asked is to comply with our terms and conditions by requiring a person to be at least 18 years of age to use this site. Yes, this setting can be changed to only show the age and not the birthday. I have a trick that I use when registering for public sites, forums and social networks such as Facebook...I never use my real birthday. I use the same fake birthday for these sites so that if they are hacked, since having the birthday and year is a vital piece of information for identity thieves, I feel it best not to provide them with too much information. Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling people to lie about their age, but if there is not a legitimate reason for someone knowing my "real" birthday and other personal information, there's no reason to give it. I do find it funny when my fake birthday arrives, that I get a nice amount of birthday wishes from my Facebook Friends!
     
  6. phoenix9

    phoenix9 Well-Known Member

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    Happy birthday Andy!!! .....whenever it is..... :10500:
     
  7. Andy

    Andy Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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  8. SirP

    SirP Active Member

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    Another thing, that you really can't protect against, is wifi attacks. Many phones support wifi and people will setup their phones to use wifi instead of their data plan so they don't use up their data plan. That is a good idea. However, be very very very careful on public hotspots. Wifi has a big security hole, a trust issue that is part of the protocol to make it easier for the everyday user. Once can easily take advantage of this and do a man int e middle attack. Explaining this in non-geek terms. Whenever you use a wifi device the very first thing it does when you turn wifi on is broadcast some messages. It probes to see if any of it's known hotspots exists. Known hotspots are ones you have connected to before or added to your wifi setup. It is a really simple message that is basically saying "Is (insert hotspot name) there?" The hotspot, if it receives the message will basically answer back "yes, I am here." Then the two connect to each other. Well, a man in the middle attack watches for those broadcast probe messages and answers yes to all of them. Thus your wifi device will connect to that instead of the actual hotspot it thinks it is connecting to. For example, if I had a man in the middle device - which is really easy to make or come by, I could connect it to my 4g plan. Then I could just sit at Starbucks. Your wifi device would connect to my man in the middle device because mine would say "yes, I am Starbucks." You wouldn't know the difference because you could still get to the internet. But since you connected to my device I can watch everything you do on the internet. Unfortunatly the only way to really protect against that is something most people won't do. You setup a computer at home with VPN access (like remote logging into work). A VPN is a secure connection. Basically you would be remoting into your home computer and using your home computer to do internet things. So even if you connected to a man in the middle device the person controlling it couldn't see what you are doing because you would be connecting to your home PC through a secure channel and using that to surf the internet. So the other thing is just don't do sensitive things on public wifi spots, like check your bank account.
     

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