Have you ever thought about who could find things out about you?
If you’re anything like a lot of people in the world, you will have used a search engine to search your own name before. While this might seem like harmless fun, and you are rather amused at what you can find out about yourself, do you ever stop to think what might happen if other people searched your name and found the same amount of information?
If you think about your online accounts to emails, all that you would need to change your password would be the answer to your secret question. These questions are sometimes things that people who knew you might know anyway, and people who didn’t would probably be able to get from your online blogs or profiles, all of which appear when you enter your name into a search engine.
Once someone has your password, take a second or two to think about what you might have to lose. Firstly, all of your social networking accounts could be hacked. This might not seem like a huge deal to you, as you can always change the passwords back, however some people use such an opportunity to send messages to people’s friends on these sites, many of which contain links to harmful viruses, meaning that they might be the next people to get hacked, too.
Do you use online banking? If you do, your account may be able to be accessed to anyone who has hold of the password to your email account. If this is the case, think about what they might be able to do with your money. They would be able to transfer it all to one of their own accounts, and chances are, you would never see it again.
So, how can this be helped? First of all, you should make sure that your passwords don’t mean anything. A random string of letters/numbers/symbols tend to work best, as there is no way that anyone would be able to take a guess at them. Secondly, you should ensure that the answer to your secret question is not a real answer. If anything, it should have nothing to do with the question at all. Have the answers and passwords written down somewhere in your home, well away from your computer, where you know that they will be should you need them at any point during the future. If you do this, then you should be able to make things a lot harder for anyone who might try to steal any of your information from you.