I have written before about my neurotic parenting with DD and how I try very hard not to be Nemo’s Dad. But today I was thinking about online security.
You all know I live online. I have a real feeling that it’s my ‘home’ I love to tweet and to blog. I like email, instant messages, apps to check things via phone, websites, the lot. But I am also very wary, and I like to think, security conscious.
I do not bank online (except Paypal) so I am not easily swayed by Bank Phishing emails. And I’m amused rather than taken in by the ‘You’ve won the lottery’ emails (except once I had – it was only £10 though) and most of the “Dear friend I need your help with £1000000 I have in a bank in Nigeria” go straight to my Spam folder so I’m rarely troubled by them. (Oh and I don't post pictures of my credit card online either! Seriously people!!)
But I hope I’m not complacent, I’m wary of all emails, I’ve sent money to people online (as either gifts or payment) and only once have I been let down (a small item I paid for was never sent).
I use Ebay, Etsy and Amazon and like most of you (I suspect) I’m pretty neurotic about passwords and password strength. I use a different password for each site, I follow advice from Sophos and test password examples at PassFault (go and give it a go! Though I’d use a ‘similar to your password’, not your actual password – just in case!) I use Gmail’s ‘Two Step Authentication’ and I have a phone lock on my mobile.
I also try and remain fairly anonymous online. Partly because a quick google search for my name reveals……just me. I’m fairly unique it seems, ditto DD. So I rarely use my name online, nor an exact location. I realise a keen stalker could probably find most of it but why make it easy.
I don’t play ‘What’s Your Porn Star Name?’ and the like since I realises that most of the questions were aimed at finding your ‘often used questions for when you lose your password on a website’ eg First pet, name of your road, a school.
I don’t post my birthday online – why tell everyone I’m 45 TODAY when that reveals my date of birth – same for DD – after all she will be online long after I am and why leave a data trail for her to worry about.
So, am I neurotic or sensible? And do you protect yourself on line or assume that the risk is small and not care. Any other tips you think I should know?