Phishers wait to hook you
There used to be a phrase in the war, I’m told, that “careless talk cost lives” Of course, this referred to loose talk that gave away vital information about locations or events that might lead to the enemy getting an advantage in order to carry out their aims.
That was 75 years ago and featured the Germans. Fast forward to 2018 and the threat of inadvertently passing on secret information is all around us,and yet, this time, we are more than happy to let the enemy have everything they want.
I’m referring to phishing, the means by which hackers can get at your online banking details and your other accounts, simply by learning a few personal facts.
You’d think that when we set up our security questions only we know the answers to, they’d be secure. Surely that’s what this second line of defence after we’ve entered our password is for?
On Sunday morning, I then log on to Facebook to find people volunteering some vital information that those who are asking will find most useful.
“Name the street you grew up in” came the innocuous request on one Facebook post this week. Well, of course, this would just be a chance to reminisce about the good old days and swap stories about growing up in that street... wouldn’t it?
Another one implores us to “tell us the name of your favourite pet”, and includes a lovely picture of a fluffy kitten to spearhead the campaign we just can’t help fall for. Lists and lists of cat and dog names spew forth, all attached to OUR names.
Two weeks later, we then hear a friend has had their account hacked, or worse still, their bank details compromised because the hacker has managed to glean all the information about us they need to mount a raid... and guess what... we helped them every bit of the way.
Let’s all be careful what information we give away online in the public domain.
Street names, favourite teachers and pets are all the info you were asked for when you set up an account.
As the outdated, yet relevant wartime advice would put it “Be like Dad, keep Mum”.