We have all heard stories over the last few years of Internet identity theft where thieves get business or personal account information and proceed to raid one’s bank account, private emails and more.
In most cases, the identity thieves hack into one’s account after obtaining a password that the user either never changed or just did not put enough time into creating. The end result can be not only an identity headache, but a financial one too.
But what happens when someone willingly gives up their password information and then finds themselves in a bind?
Minnesota Girl Pressured into Revealing Facebook Info
Most recently, I wrote on another blog about the 12-year-old Minnesota middle school student that reluctantly gave up her Facebook password after being pressured by school officials and law enforcement (I’m still interested in how she got an account to begin with given Facebook’s terms of agreement say 13-and-older).
As it turns out, the girl and her family are now suing the school, claiming that the student was harassed and pressured into giving up the log-in information to her account. School officials, however, say they wanted to view the girl’s private social media account because it reportedly contained some derogatory comments towards a teacher and some inappropriate discussions regarding sex.
That leads me to wonder whether or not individuals are apt to give out such information, be it to co-workers, family, friends, etc. If so, what is the rationale behind such actions?
In my line of work as an online editor, I literally have more user names and passwords than I do pieces in my sports memorabilia collection. Trust me, I have a large collection.
Put Some Thought into How You Protect Yourself
I was always told from day one, whether it was for work or personal online accounts, to come up with numerous user name/password combos and make them something other than my name and the first three letters of the alphabet, etc.
So, I’ve taken over the years to using user name/password combos that are sports related, related to places I’ve loved to travel to, family names, etc. While they may not exactly be unique, they are combinations that would not be easy to guess, unless of course you have a lot of free time on your hands.
Assuming you are not apt to give up your log-in information for personal accounts, including social media, what would you do if an authoritative figure challenged you and demanded you provide such information?
Would you willingly turn over such information or would you fight it?
Having read stories of death and social media are you familiar with the heights some survivors have had to go through in order to get into a loved one’s social media account on some sites when they pass away and don’t leave the user name/password info? The same has held true in cases where a loved one or friend wants to enter someone’s Yahoo mail account that has just passed away.
Along with the security factor, I rarely give out such sensitive information unless it is in a special situation where someone I know and trust needs to get on my computer. As soon as they are done, I change the log-in information.
So, do you go to extra lengths to protect your log-in information on social media sites and other personal online venues you use?
Dave Thomas, who covers among other topics credit card processing, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.