Tuesday, March 4, 2008
There is no 100% security
I've seen a couple of data points recently where folks have published personal information, with the idea that the bad guys couldn't use if for identity theft. They were wrong and pretty stupid for doing it in the first place.
The first is Todd Davis, CEO of a company called LifeLock. I'm actually a customer and they do identity theft protection services. They've built a marketing campaign around this guy publishing his Social Security Number and challenging the bad guys to try to rip him off. You've probably seen the ads.
He did get compromised. How? Basically, there was a failing on the part of a 3rd party that didn't do the proper credit authorizations. This had nothing to do with LifeLock, but he was compromised nonetheless.
The second example is a UK media personality called Jeremy Clarkson. This guy published his bank account and it was then looted by an identity thief. Of course, these are outlandish examples of people doing stupid things to prove a point. And they did just that.
The moral of the story is not to paint a target on your head. There is no way to be 100% secure. That's why credit monitoring and making sure you understand exactly what is happening in your bank and credit accounts is so important. If you know something is an issue, you can start working immediately to fix it and hopefully contain the real damage.
Photo credit: alicetiara