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Loss of Personal Info As Stressful As Losing a Job

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the oh-it's-up-there-all-right dept.

Privacy 119

An anonymous reader writes "Americans feel most vulnerable about the loss or theft of their personal or financial information, according to a national survey. 54% of Americans said the prospect of losing this data 'extremely concerned' them. Losing personal or financial information ranked similar to concern over job loss and not being able to provide healthcare for their family. In terms of specific risks within the online threat landscape, identity theft ranked as the chief fear. Nearly a third of Americans reported identity theft as their greatest concern to personal safety and security on the Internet. The fear of someone hacking into their financial information or accounts ranked a close second, with a quarter of Americans listing it as their greatest worry."

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It's even worse than a job (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214766)

You can get a new job within hours of losing the old one. You can't get banks and the police to trust you again THAT quickly after your identity's been abused to commit frauds.

In other news... (1, Offtopic)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214826)

Losing your wallet sucks?

Must be a slow news day

To me, DEATH is number1, thorugh 100. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33216924)

I know most here don't care about that, since few have a LIFE, but I do.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

j/k, no life at all - I'm here aren't I?

Re:It's even worse than a job (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214828)

You can get a new job within hours of losing the old one. You can't get banks and the police to trust you again THAT quickly after your identity's been abused to commit frauds.

In this economy?? Maybe back in 2007, but I'd say your runout on the bank clock would be faster today.

Re:It's even worse than a job (3, Insightful)

Kepesk (1093871) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214920)

Hah, agreed. I have friends with normally in-demand skills who have been looking for a job for a year.

I once fell for a cleverly-crafted internet scam. The ten minutes it took for me to get my bank card canceled felt like my boss had pulled me into the office and chewed me out. So.... I'd say this is about accurate.

Re:It's even worse than a job (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214886)

I grew up in a fairly small town. I've had my checking account with the same bank since I was 18. Of the tellers there, one I went to high school with and she used to live across the street from me. The rest of the tellers and other officers have known my parents for a long, long time. When I go there, they know me fairly well. If I had a major issue, I'd drive the hour and a half home to go to that bank where they know and trust me, and I'd probably get taken care of properly. That's probably not typical, but I feel better about my ability to get my banking information taken care of than I do about being able to get a new job in this economy.

I have a university degree, certifications, and experience and I really don't think I could find a new job "within a couple of hours," at least not one that would be on par with my current position with regards to pay and benefits. Maybe that was true a few years ago, but not right now. However, with the amount of credit and background checks that go on industries like mine and positions where trust is an absolute requirement, having my identity stolen and my credit screwed up would definitely affect my ability to get a new job if I couldn't get it taken care of quickly and conclusively. That's probably on the mind of most of the people who said that they're more concerned about identity theft than their job.

IL is baning credit checks for most jobs and credi (2, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214954)

IL is baning credit checks for most jobs and bad credit can come from getting sicks and running big bills with or without benefits.

Re:It's even worse than a job (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215022)

Are you sure that that teller lady would be as nice to you if she discovered that (for example) your stolen cc was used to pay for some omghewillmolestourchildrenburnthewitch pornography? Hate, fear and anger comes easily and you are likely to be thought as "he did it, he just lies in attempt to get out of trouble" guy.

Re:It's even worse than a job (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215086)

Well, I like to think they know me well enough, but who knows... people are kind of stupid when it comes to that sort of thing.

Re:It's even worse than a job (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215486)

People use stolen credit cards for porn?

I would think you would steal the porn directly and use the stolen CC to buy something not so easily acquired (try pirating gas for your car)

Re:It's even worse than a job (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216086)

For certain kinds yes, I'd personally be suspicious of any accusations of a person paying for child porn with their own credit card. Sure there are people that dim out there, I just doubt very much that it's commonplace.

Re:It's even worse than a job (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215208)

Maybe you can, but the last time I was out of work I was unemployed for a year before I found a new job. That was over 20 years ago, it would be even harder for me to find one now because I'm getting on in years; at least, one that would pay the bills. In case you haven't noticed, one in ten people are collecting unemployment benefits, and probably twice that many are unemployed but not recieving benefits (thay don't count those folks).

Re:It's even worse than a job (2, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215424)

Completely agree - I'd say the combination of people having lived through a relative boom and not having the anguish of trying to find a job during an economic downturn couple with the media hysteria about identity theft no doubt account for people's worries being misplaced in this way. For most people "identity theft" means a few troublesome calls to the bank to sort it out - in many cases the bank does all the legwork (I had a call from my bank to alert me a site that took a payment from my card had some data compromised, they cancelled my card and sent me a new one within a couple of days and I didn't have to lift a finger). Cases where identity theft led to the loss of your home must be incredibly rare or we'd be hearing about them all the time in the media which loves reporting on this, cases of people losing their home because they couldn't find a new job are all too common.

Re:It's even worse than a job (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215870)

Screw the bank, what about my Farmville!?!11

Re:It's even worse than a job (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216324)

And yet there is a cheap and easy fix that would fix nearly all the credit fraud.

When a credit reporting agency sends out a report about me, require them to send me what they sent the requester.

Now, it won't cover the problem 100%. There will still be holes that fraudsters will be able to get through. But the idiocy we have where companies sneak around whispering secrets about me is just criminal, and STUPID!!

Re:It's even worse than a job (2, Insightful)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216938)

Sometimes its no so easy to find a new job - I looked for a year until I found the job I have now. I make like 19k a year where I used to make 80k :/.

That insecurity is rather frightening - when I lost the lease on my house if I didn't have a safety net (living with friends) I would have been able to live off savings/unemployment insurance, but after that I'd have to live out of my car.

Re:It's even worse than a job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33218944)

You made $80K and didn't buy clear title on a house. What did you buy? Be honest. Not with me, but with yourself.

>after that I'd have to live out of my car.

You aren't thinking it through. Eventually, you can't even sell blood plasma to register the car, it ends up getting impounded, and then you're on foot. There's a point where you'd better know how to live on sunflower and dandelion sprouts and the occasional squirrel.

You're joking, right? (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33218462)

The last I heard, the average job search takes six months. I can get my bank cards, etc., cancelled within minutes of detecting their loss. I've had both things happen, and "identity theft" is a minor nuisance.

The claim that people are more stressed out by "identity theft" than by job loss is just not credible. If people were less worried about job loss than about personal information security, you'd see people blowing off work for a week, but you wouldn't see people using Facebook.

Makes sense. (1)

Kireas (1784888) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214778)

I'd say those that AREN'T worried have a screw loose. Or ten.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215044)

I'd say those that AREN'T worried have a screw loose. Or ten.

I agree. But, if those same people would just use a sane password policy for the financial Web sites they visit, they'd be a hell of a lot better off. Face it, most successful "hacking" attempts don't revolve around some bad-ass computer genius, they have to do with users not doing their part to properly secure their own data. Sure, there are definitely security breaches at large companies and you can't do much about that (it happened to me once: I got a new credit card with a new number ... they had a security "issue" and were proactively changing everyone's numbers) but the customer still has some responsibility. I like sites that simply won't let you choose a weak password: I wish more would do that.

I'll go a step further and say if you're using online banking, don't use a Windows box.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215158)

Nope, does not. Tell me, since when it is required to be a geek in order to open an online bank account!!! Do you have a Ph.D in quantum physics? No? Sorry man, you don't deserve the latest iPhone4, or Android, or in fact everything else, lol. And btw, the problem with the strong passwords is that you have to actually write them down on note, or file, if you don't wanna to forget them, which becomes even greater security issue than having a weak passwords. In matter of fact, there are banks that are forbidding you to use too strong password, which makes sense.

Re:Makes sense. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215234)

>implying you need to be a geek to use a secure operating system

And inb4 your grandmother becomes the standard of computer users in the discussion

Re:Makes sense. (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215336)

You do not need to be a geek to realize that things like 'password' and '12345678' are a complete joke to use for your password yet people still do it. There are limits to both sides, yes security needs to keep user-friendliness in mind but the users also need to put in a bit of effort.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215738)

But you DO need to be a geek to realize that the bank MUST implement more secure methods and good practices in order to protect his customers, and in case of identity theft, to solve this issue as faster as possible. And just for your information, adding 243 characters long password sentence is not the right answer.

Re:Makes sense. (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216140)

Indeed, the one time my information got stolen, it was the result of incompetence on the part of TD Ameritrade. Just last week I got another call from scammers at the "US Pharmacy" wanting to know about my prescriptions for Cialis and Viagra. I'm not a doctor, but I don't think that people generally take those medications together. I suspect the results would be somewhat less enjoyable than one would expect. Last time they called they wanted to know about my prescription for Benzodiazapene. I have prescriptions for none of those medications, they were just trying to trick me into giving them my CC number. I called him a liar and hung up immediately. Piece of shit ought to be in pound me in the ass with a "male enhanced" dick prison.

Whoever at TD Ameritrade was responsible for maintaining the security of their databases, I feel similarly about. The settlement was an absolute insult. After they lost the information they were allowed to pay people back with free trades. Only an idiot would still be with a firm that was that disinterested in proper security measures. Meaning that they paid a few cents per person and got off basically free for those of us with the intellect to move our money elsewhere.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215604)

And btw, the problem with the strong passwords is that you have to actually write them down on note, or file, if you don't wanna to forget them, which becomes even greater security issue than having a weak passwords.

Wrong. Strong passwords written down on a piece of paper kept in your wallet along with your credit cards and cash are quite secure. If your wallet is stolen you will probably know about it in time to change your passwords before they get used (if the thief even figures out what they are for). If your weak passwords are cracked you will only know when it is too late.

In matter of fact, there are banks that are forbidding you to use too strong password...

Fools.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215798)

The problem with a note with the password is not that someone could steel it, but having it lost, lol. It happened to me so many times, that i was forced to implement a special practices in order to have them on safe place, but if there is a fire in my house...brrrr, nightmare, i don't wanna to even think about..

Re:Makes sense. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215846)

Fools.

No, it makes sense. There is no reason you should need a password that has upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols all in the same password.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216126)

I disagree. And when I start my own bank, I will require all of my customers to input at least one Cyrillic character along with all of the above into their passwords. Possibly even a Kanji character, too. My ATM machines will have huge keypads.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

SpongeBob Hitler (1848328) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215584)

I go even further and don't use on-line banking. The people at the bank I use know me. And, if one of the people there mentions "You can do this online" I politely explain that I refuse to use online banking until it is considerably more secure.

If enough people did this, the banks would basically be forced to make things more secure. They want online banking since it drastically reduces their overhead.

Re:Makes sense. (2, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215490)

Like with most things, 54% of Americans are extremely concerned about the safety of their data, but maybe 1% actually bother to do something about it.

And yet.. (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214800)

And yet I'm positive many have no anti-virus,put lots of interesting information on their facebook or whatever, and click interesting links.

Re:And yet.. (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215070)

Exactly. On a survey, people may claim they they are "extremely concerned" about the potential loss of their personal information, but their actions say otherwise; they'll enter their personal information anywhere if it will get them dancing bunnies. On the other hand, most people are pretty careful about doing obviously stupid stuff which could lose them their job. If people really cared so as little about losing their job as they did about losing their financial information, they'd not only use the copier on their butts and surf porn on company time, they'd hit on the boss's daughter, call in sick 3 days out of 5, get into fistfights with their coworkers, and brag about shorting their company's stock.

Re:And yet.. (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215084)

I'm currently repairing a laptop, although very new, is infected with viruses and spyware. Interestingly the client is a male teenager about to start college. He had loaded some dubious file sharing applications which are likely avenues for the infections. My perception of the tech-savvy generation has just been changed.

Re:And yet.. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216044)

Here's another car analogy. When cars first came out, people who owned them knew a lot about how they worked. You had to. You couldn't just call a tow truck and get them to bring it to a garage and fix it. Over the years cars got more and more complex. And not only did it become common place for people to know nothing about their cars, but it became common place for the makers of cars to make it difficult to repair them on your own ,such as putting commonly replaced parts in hard to reach places, or requiring specialized tools. Computers are basically the same. When they first came out, there wasn't much software for them, and all the people using them knew how to program them. You also couldn't easily get them fixed, because there wasn't a lot of shops that could fix them. Fast forward to today, where nobody knows how a computer works. Nobody sees the command line, or really understands what's going on behind the glossy finish of the OS, or what the individual parts of the computer do. You can buy a program that does anything you want, so you don't ever have to write your own programs. You can also get it easily repaired, or completely replaced, for very little cost. The makers of PCs have actually gone the route of discouraging fixing problems at all. If there's a software problem, the first solution is factory reinstall, without even trying to troubleshoot the issue. There's very little incentive other than raw personal interest why somebody would learn how a computer operates.

Re:And yet.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215170)

And worst of all, most use a broken operating system because of Microsoft's sweetheart deals with Dell, etc.

There are lots of unintended consequences when a monopoly is allowed to flourish.

Ya that does seem to be the case (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215614)

Most people do not take their informational security seriously. Now that's fine if it doesn't concern you. While I think it should concern you, I can understand not spending a lot of time on something that doesn't. For example I am not concerned about nuclear war, so I do not spend any time taking steps to protect myself in the event of one.

However people ARE concerned, but then aren't willing to take steps to secure it. I'll even tell people what to do, like run a virus scanner, use a good password, get a SecureID if your bank offers one (some do, B of A does), only post stuff on FB you are willing to make public and so on. However I get blown off. They want to be protected, but don't want to have to lift a finger to do so.

Where I really see this shit is in World of Warcraft. Some people get hacked all the damn time. While a few just don't care, most throw a fit and get all upset. Well I know for a fact that if you get hacked, 999 times out of 1,000, it is because your informational security sucks. You went to a scam site (places that pretend to get you in to the beta and so on) or got spywared or have a weak password or share the password with half the world. However they never seem willing to deal with it. They don't want to run a virus scanner because it "Slows things down too much." They won't get an authenticator (two factor authentication device) because "It can be hacked," (it can't actually). They won't stop sharing their password because "My friends need to use my account."

Basically they want someone to protect them, but they are unwilling to do the slightest bit to change how they work. They don't want to take any responsibility or action.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to hunt down all the hackers out there and get rid of them, but as any law enforcement official can tell you for any crime, there's no way to eliminate it 100%. We can't get rid of all the criminals so you have to take it upon yourself to try and protect yourself and your things. If your car gets stolen, I want to see the thief tracked down and prosecuted. However I'm still going to call you a retard if you left it unlocked with the keys in it. No the thief shouldn't have stolen it, but you shouldn't have made it so damn easy.

Re:Ya that does seem to be the case (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216170)

I've tried to explain to my parents that their passwords aren't acceptable. And that if they do get ripped off that the businesses they are using are almost certainly not going to pay them back because they weren't taking their passwords seriously. Most people don't understand how dead serious this stuff is until they get ripped off, at which point it's largely too late. You can cancel the cards and lock your credit report, but the damage has been done.

Worse still is that sites which save your credit information show only the last 4 digits of various numbers. The problem being that with the last 4 digits you can typically recreate the rest of them without a whole lot of trouble as the first quite a few are based upon a known algorithm.

Re:And yet.. (1)

Phoobarnvaz (1030274) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216568)

And yet I'm positive many have no anti-virus,put lots of interesting information on their facebook or whatever, and click interesting links.

Having worked in computer support in years past...it's not that they don't have an anti-virus...it's that it's several years/decades old and has never been updated. For instance...many of the people who brought their computers into the shop had been using the crapware which came with their PC. Had the hardest time making them understand that if they wanted to use it...they had to pay for it or go search for a free version on the web. Of course...for $45 (the hourly rate back then)...I was more than happy to download and install it for them. Even then my boss wasn't too happy with me...since they thought I should be hawking their over-priced boxed version...plus the hourly rate to install/set it up for them.

Having quit this job at 2 months after this manager stepped on my last nerve...saw him in an office supply store which was going out of business on the sales floor. Ended up buying a $150 office chair from one of his co-workers and watched him lose his job a week later.

Guess karma was an additional benefit for this tool. Since he had just gotten a mortgage as well about the same time as I was hired at this job...wonder if he was living in a stove or refrigerator box. Couldn't have happened to a better guy...especially since I found he had treated a friend of mine this way in the past.

And yet.... (3, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214814)

... those same people will continue to use their pet's name as the password to their online bank account.

-S

Re:And yet.... (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214922)

To be fair many organizations that use security questions limit the customer to a set of canned questions. In those cases you can only choose between your pet's name, the street of your first home or your mother's maiden name. The pin number on some bank cards is still limited to only four (four!) digits. So if you want to be more secure organizations are not helping you.

Re:And yet.... (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215072)

To be fair many organizations that use security questions limit the customer to a set of canned questions. In those cases you can only choose between your pet's name, the street of your first home or your mother's maiden name.

Since there is (usually?) no human review, what exactly stops you from reporting your pets name was slfdasghblasfhdbgas or perhaps your street name was adfjklashd? Or for that matter, "Sally" even though my moms name was not Sally?

Re:And yet.... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215372)

I always do that when an account FORCES me to put in a secret question. Unfortunatly if you forgot your password, you're likely to forget your fake-mother's fake-maden name. So kinda defeats the purpose. I speak out of personal experience. I find "secret questions" to not be secret anymore - Pets names are almost always on facebook for example. Kinda useless.

Re:And yet.... (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215448)

I use a compromise. I've never had a pet. People who know me might guess whose pet I'd "borrow", but that pet croaked decades ago, and there's probably 3 people on the planet who would know that pet, rather than the 15 other pets that person has had. And it's not on FB. :)

Re:And yet.... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216202)

Use a password database program and be damned sure to keep it backed up in several places. I usually include the security information in the password file. If somebody compromises that I'm already incredibly screwed, the security answers are likely more of a problem if you don't do that.

One of the stupid things is that they'll have a limited number of choices and some aren't well thought out. For people with parents born a bit after Harry S Truman was president, there's a fair number with single letter middle names out there.

Re:And yet.... (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215380)

Because, when you forget your password 5 years later, you won't have a clue what your security word is.

Re:And yet.... (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215542)

That's fine until you come to enter the answer because you forgot your password. It would be much easier to allow me to set both the question and answer - that way I can think of a question that will give a non-obvious answer that is nevertheless easy for me to remember - favourite childhood sandwich, jam, cheese and banana or something. It is odd, though, that many of these sites insist on a mix of numbers and letters, minimum string length, etc and yet they have security questions you could brute force in minutes with a digital copy of the phone book. Even worse, one I saw recently "what was your first car" - even if an attacker had to go though the make and model of all cars ever made that wouldn't take long to solve, if he had your age and country of residence the field would be trivially small (even smaller since for most people you can rule out expensive sports cars and the like as most people's first car).

Re:And yet.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33219140)

Security questions are tough sometimes.
Name of your Elementary School? Which one (of seven?)
Name of your High School? I went to two High Schools, concurrently, and graduated from neither (I started university instead of finishing HS.)
Name of your first pet? I lived on a *farm* in my early years and I had a *LOT* of first pets.
Musical instrument? I'm a multi-instrumentalist and I have a bunch of equally likely answers for this.
Mother's maiden name? That's not confidential enough, and my mother went by two names before her first marriage anyway.
It just goes on and on. Yeah, I have standard answers to the questions, but that's not the point.

Re: Locatable Passwords (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216038)

One option might be something ultra-obscure, not prone to dictionary attacks, but "locatable" on emergency. I had a password set to fhqwhgads for a while.

Re:And yet.... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216186)

This is what I do. I use PasswordSafe, and have it autogenerate a 16 character string for these questions. It's kind of funny, that a high percentage (16%) [insure.com] of identity theft is done by those who know you, and yet their security questions, are ones that could easily be figured out by someone you know. Not only that, but the actual answers are very hard to remember. Especially ones such as "What is your favourite x?", as tastes change.

Re:And yet.... (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215370)

... The pin number on some bank cards is still limited to only four (four!) digits. So if you want to be more secure organizations are not helping you.

I've switched banks a few times and never had a card that didn't limit me to a 4 digit PIN, which banks allow more?

Re:And yet.... (1)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216188)

... The pin number on some bank cards is still limited to only four (four!) digits. So if you want to be more secure organizations are not helping you.

I've switched banks a few times and never had a card that didn't limit me to a 4 digit PIN, which banks allow more?

I'm pretty sure that DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union) allowed (allows?) an 8-digit pin. I never made use of it, but I'm almost positive it was an option (though I haven't used them in 8+ years).

Re:And yet.... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216216)

Not going to happen anytime in the near term. The limitation is because ATMs only take a 4 digit PIN. Allowing more would be pointless as you couldn't use the ATM, or the ATM would have to lop it off to the first 4 digits.

Re:And yet.... (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216616)

and, I don't know about GPs bank, but mine locked my card after 3 wrong pins (several months apart), so don't go with 1111, 1112, or 1113, and you should be fine.

Re:And yet.... (5, Funny)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215012)

I named my cat "Admin". Was that wrong?

Re:And yet.... (2, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215100)

I named my cat "Admin". Was that wrong?

No, "; drop table *;" that would be wrong.

Re:And yet.... (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215258)

I called the dog syndrome.

It up sets people when I tell him to get down from things.

Re:And yet.... (0, Redundant)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215554)

Re:And yet.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33216138)

cue chorus of unfunny xkcd proselytes. especially you, parent!

Re:And yet.... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215352)

I didn't name my cat "12345", you insensitive clod!

Re:And yet.... (1)

kencurry (471519) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216394)

... those same people will continue to use their pet's name as the password to their online bank account.

-S

well, my dog's name just happens to have 11 chars, three of which are digits and has some random capitals thrown in to boot. Where is the problem sir?

Security should be the bank's job (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 4 years ago | (#33217908)

Historically, people deposited their money at a "bank" so that the bank would keep it secure for them, allowing them to be ignorant of security best practices and specialize in something productive.

Today, banks have somehow absolved themselves of responsibility for security, and have convinced us all to blame the customer for lapses in security, so much that we even call it by the oxymoron "identity theft" without feeling any irony.

Banks should authenticate the transaction, and allow their customers to talk about their pets and mother's maiden name on Facebook without jeopardizing their account. But blaming the victim is easier, and we all seem to go along with it unquestioningly.

Don't worry (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214858)

There's Lifelock to help you. Or that other one, or that other one. And if you forget about them and how stressful it can be to loose ALL YOUR PERSONAL DATA AND ABILITY TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE EVER AGAIN there will be an ad on the TV and radio in the next 5 minutes and you'll probably see many ads for their services today during your regular browsing.

Re:Don't worry (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215298)

+1

I would say this survey is a better indicator of the success of the rampant advertising for anti-identity theft.

So now that all the credit card companies know that this the number one fear (pat selves on back for successful advertising) they can start pushing the offers a bit harder. Expect your mailboxes to start filling up with more of these offers in 3...2..1

Re:Don't worry (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215508)

Lifelock's practice of renewing fraud alerts on your credit profile was ruled illegal by a federal judge last year. [wired.com]

Their CEO had his identity stolen too. [associatedcontent.com]

Personally I find those services to be a waste of money. Make use of your right to a free credit report from each bureau per year, if you suspect something has happened you can place the fraud alert yourself and get access to your report then.

The NCSA and APWG also found... (1)

ITBurnout (1845712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214894)

...that answering alarming questions in these seemingly endless "which is the most stressful thing that can happen to you?" surveys, raises the participants' stress levels.

Time to act (4, Interesting)

trifish (826353) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214976)

Send this link to the following people:

- Facebook CEO, who said that the meaning of the word privacy is changing thanks to Facebook and that the need for and expectation of privacy on the Internet should be and will be a thing of the past.

- Google CEO, who said that if you don't want other people to know about something you do, you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

These people need to realize that respecting and protecting privacy of their users is mandatory, not a thing of the past.

Re:Time to act (2, Insightful)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215136)

Facebook and Google are pretty open about the fact that they are not interested in protecting privacy. They are building their business models on the assumption that society understands and accepts this.

If people disagree, they are free not to use their services. If I don't want people to see "hot donkey nuts" on my Google search history, then I shouldn't be searching for hot donkey nuts in Google. If you do not want future employers to see pictures of you doing kegstands, do not post them on Facebook.

People need to take responsibility for protecting their own privacy. Facebook and Google make their dollars by organizing and selling your data. If you do not want them to publish your data, do not give it to them.

And actually (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215688)

I think what Google said is they see an end to anonymity, not privacy, which is very different.

I have privacy in my house. Only I and people I choose to let in can be here, and I can do pretty much as I please. People can't spy on me, they can't see what I'm doing, what I'm wearing, and so on. It is a nice private sanctum for me. However I am not anonymous in my house. It is well known who owns it, you can check public records to see though you could much easier just check a phone book. My comings and going can be monitored, so you can have a pretty good idea if I'm home or not. I have no anonymity when it comes to my house, but that does not affect the privacy of my house.

That seems to be what they are claiming. That you'll be able to be private in what you do, but not totally anonymous, as in the government can find out who you are if needed.

Now without commenting on if this is a good thing over all, it would certainly lead to a much better ability to solve crimes committed online, like identity theft. Part of the reason it is so popular is because of the anonymous nature of online. It is easy to simply disappear and become untraceable. Means there is little risk in committing a crime online. Eliminate that anonymity, and that goes away.

People need to understand that privacy and anonymity are unique concepts. One means the ability to keep information to yourself, to only have some things known about you. The other means to be invisible, unknown, that while your actions might be known the person behind them is not.

Having sex in your bedroom is private, but not anonymous. People can know that you and a partner are in the same house, but not what you are doing. Having sex in a park while wearing masks is anonymous, but not private. People don't know who is doing it, but they sure as hell know what is happening.

Re:And actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33216870)

Having sex in your bedroom is private, but not anonymous. People can know that you and a partner are in the same house, but not what you are doing. Having sex in a park while wearing masks is anonymous, but not private. People don't know who is doing it, but they sure as hell know what is happening.

Sounds kinky. Sign me up!

Re:Time to act (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#33217642)

While I think that Facebook and Google should do what they can to protect their users, what these people say holds a lot of truth. If you are really that worried about somebody finding out about what you are doing, then you shouldn't be doing it. Even if you don't even use Facebook or Google. You never know what one of your friends, or even just some interested onlooker will record and post on the Net. Celebrities (the smart ones) have known for a long time that they should be very cautious of what they do, because there are people watching them all the time, and their actions will be recorded. It's only in the last few years that this kind of thing has become something that everyday people should worry about.

As a victim of identity theft... (5, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#33214984)

As a victim of identity theft and someone who has lost his job in the past, I can say that, in many ways, identity theft is more stressful. If you lose a job, you need to worry about not having money and you need to find another job. Once you find a job, though, that worry goes away (or at least goes back to normal levels).

When your identity is stolen, your information is now "out there." Even if the thief is captured (unlikely), he might have shared the information with a dozen other people or have purchased the information from someone who sold it to other people. This means that plugging one leak doesn't end the stress as other leaks could pop up at any time.

In addition, you don't merely need to deal with one company (ala getting hired). You need to deal with at least three big credit agencies that really don't care if your identity was stolen. You need to prove to them that they have the wrong information on file. You might also need to deal with collection agencies who really don't care that you're not the one who bought that boat in Florida and the stereo equipment in California. You might also need to deal with credit card companies who (like the credit agencies) really only care about their profits and don't see your identity theft claim as "profitable." Then there's dealing with police officers who, while they might be well-meaning, really have no training to deal with these crimes and possibly no jurisdiction for the crimes.

With all that stress, it's a good thing the FBI has made Identity Theft a top priority. Oh, wait, they haven't [slashdot.org] .

Well one thing I have to ask (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215462)

Is did you contact your representatives in government? Imperfect as it is, our government is an approximation of what they people want. However part of that means the people have to participate, and tell the government what is important to them. Doesn't mean they always listen, and if they don't we vote them out and replace them with those that do. However if you don't even try then nothing can happen.

So you need to let them know that this is an issue that has affected you, and that they need to be dealing with. Tell them how serious it is both on a personal level and how many people are being affected. Tell them you want them to have the FBI make this a priority.

I don't expect that a single letter will cause them to jump to action, but they'll listen. If all the victims of identity theft contact congress and say "This is a real problem that needs fixing," they'll say "This is something that affects a lot of our voters, we need to do something about it!" If all the victims sit in silence, or only speak on forums, the government may well not understand it is important.

If you did contact your reps then good for you, however I am well aware of how rare that is, particularly among the tech crowd.

Re:As a victim of identity theft... (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215780)

The sad thing is that it really doesn't have to be that way. I shouldn't have to safeguard public records information like my birthday or my mother's maiden name. Whoever started using those things to as any kind of authentication token are the ones truly responsible.

In a true open and transparent society, it'd be pretty trivial to track down who committed the fraud in your name and have that added to your record. But people seem to fear getting a UUID (or dozens... hey you can have more than one, right?) more than the obscurity that the lack of information assures you.. .and all the problems that come along with it.

Re:As a victim of identity theft... (3, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216146)

You need to deal with... You need to prove... that...

We need to pas laws that make it their problem.. We should just be able to report it and that should be the end of it from our point of view. And we should shouldn't allow information to carry that kind of power to victimize us so easily.. The problem won't go away until we do that... This is the banks/credit agencies/governments'(ours) fault that this is happening at all. We shouldn't tolerate it.

Re:As a victim of identity theft... (3, Informative)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216588)

Hear. Hear.

And the first step to making it their problem, is to require them to tell us what they are telling everyone else. And I don't mean one stupid free report a year. Send me a report every time you sell a report to someone else. All it will require is a duplicate print, and a few cents in postage.

The next step will be to block any random company from obtaining my credit information. (What the hell is that about anyway? What do you call that "legitimate spying"? Forkin' peeping toms.)

Nexus, Equity, TransUnion, etc should be working to validate the information in their databases. The easiest way to do that is to verify my information with me.

Wow (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215018)

The American public has gotten really jaded about losing their job.

Re:Wow (1)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216262)

Well, ya know, when it happens often enough... people start to get numb to even painful things.

http://washingtonindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/ltunemployed.png

this story isn't about amnesia (2)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215164)

How do you "lose" your personal info?

If someone makes a copy, you still have all your info, so you haven't really lost anything, right?

Isn't that what many folks here have been telling us? If you download data, it's just a copy. You're not depriving the owner of any property, so it isn't theft.

How is making a copy of your SSN or other identifying information theft or loss? Data wants to free, right?

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (1)

frist (1441971) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215406)

How do you "lose" your personal info?

If someone makes a copy, you still have all your info, so you haven't really lost anything, right?

Isn't that what many folks here have been telling us? If you download data, it's just a copy. You're not depriving the owner of any property, so it isn't theft.

How is making a copy of your SSN or other identifying information theft or loss? Data wants to free, right?

OMG SO GOOD! You win! :) If I knew how to give you points I would.

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215500)

Hey ass, this isn't about someone copying some imaginary property whose copyright only existed for a mere half a gazillion years (waaaah waaaah waaaah), this is about thieves stealing peoples' life savings.

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (3, Insightful)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215642)

The problem is not the information itself, the problem is what a thief can do with that information. Since you seem to be hinting at the copyright debate tell me: How can I harm someone using the information found in a song? That song/movie/software/etc does not allow me to sign up for credit cards, loans, bank accounts and more in the author's name. If I steal your identity I can rack up all kinds of debt in your name leaving you to foot the bill or prove it wasn't you that bought all those things.

It seems to me that while most of the focus in preventing identity theft is on preventing access to this information in the first place a second avenue for addressing the problem is mostly ignored. It is far too easy to sign up for a credit card or other forms of credit while providing the bare minimum of proof that you are who you claim to be. If more effort was placed into ensuring identity before issuing the credit we could cut down the number and expense of identity theft cases.

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215698)

Are you also going to make a car analogy about driving through an intersection with a green light, but hitting a pedestrian who didn't look? You were totally right to keep going, it was totally the pedestrian's fault for not looking. Right?

What you are doing is taking the idea of creating a copy a step or two further. Instead of just copying the entire Thriller album, you're also taking credit for its creation and selling it. You're taking the entire works of Shakespeare, putting your name on them, and selling them as original works.

Go back under your rock.

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (1)

ITBurnout (1845712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215808)

I never understood the "information (data) wants to be free" mantra. Information is just information; data is just data. It doesn't know or want anything. It just is. Some PEOPLE want data to be free, for them. But only certain data. Mostly of the entertaining variety.

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215886)

Yeah, it should be called "identity infringement" instead of "identity theft". That'll make a lot of difference.

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215988)

If I write a book and you take it and pretend that it's yours, most people would call that stealing. You're trying to take something away from me, the right to be recognized as the author. Having my personal information spread around doesn't make it identity theft, but trying to impersonate me does because only I should be recognized as myself. Though when it comes to immaterial things, fraud is probably the better word. However, identity fraud sounds like you are the one being defrauded, you're not. You're just the person whose identity was used.

Re:this story isn't about amnesia (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 4 years ago | (#33219196)

>If I write a book and you take it and pretend that it's yours, most people would call that stealing.

Rational people would call that copyright infringement, and recognize it as the main abuse that copyright protects you from!
Copyright is a very poor weapon for punishing someone for reproducing your work, but is a very good one in defense of someone who claims your work as his own (and proceeds to sue you for damages.)

I Got Fired By Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215432)

I'm feeling a lot better, thank you very much. Losing my personal info would royally stink.

Had my age and hair color stolen, was terrible (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215546)

One day I woke up to find that my age and hair color had been stolen. It was awful walking around being ageless and having hair with no color. Fortunately, I found that an ex-friend had stolen, and took them back from him. I could never figure out what use he had for them, but it's nice to have them back.

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215682)

Unless this survey was anonymous this is far too ironic.

mod Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33215814)

a Need to play join in. It can be in our group used to. SHIT ON Ra1se or lower the something done Over the same Of OpenBSD. How AMERICA) is the code.' Don't

Why we worry about ID theft, not the banks? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#33215980)

How did we end up in this stupid scenario that anyone who has facts about me, like my SSN, my date of birth etc can open credit lines, borrow money and skip town and our credit is ruined?

Clearly it is the lenders fault they lent money without proper verification. Unless the lenders can prove that they lent money to the correct party they should not be able to post "outstanding credit" on my name. The lenders lobby to make sure that I can't even freeze my own credit lines. Only if I am a victim of id theft I get to freeze my own credit lines. Or they charge fees to "monitor" my credit lines. It is all screwed up. We should change the laws so that victims of id-theft can sue the lender who posted/reported wrong information about the victim for damages. We should be able to sue these lax lenders. Then they will spend more time in verifying the identity of the borrowers.

Knowing facts about me should never be enough to harm me.

Re:Why we worry about ID theft, not the banks? (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216732)

I repeat myself, but the first, simple, sensible step would be to require the credit agency to report to me who is asking about me and what they are asking about. It is absolute nonsense that we have these irresponsible companies sneaking around spreading rumors.

Now, I will qualify myself:

Are they irresponsible? Try to get a incorrect report removed. They will all say in unison, "We just report what we're told. We're not repsonsible." The law also exempts them from responsibility from the results of spreading bad data.

Are they spreading rumors? The companies do not do any verification of the data other than to ask the reporting company if it is correct. That is hearsay in a court of law, and nothing but rumor mongering anywhere else.

Too much DI.fm... (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 4 years ago | (#33216448)

You don't have to be a police chief to know...

I suspect this is a control thing (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#33217308)

Both situations involve losing control of an aspect of your life.

When you lose your job, it's a problem but if you have savings and you have marketable skills, then there's at least something you can do about it.

If you're the victim of identity theft, there's very little you can do about it. The information is out in the wild and it's extremely likely that the perpetrators will not be caught. People may well be using your identity for fraud for years.

Seeing personal info is enlightening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33218726)

Seeing personal information about others has been very helpful to me, many, many times. I once wondered how people could afford so much, but that was before I learned just how far in debt many of them were. I thought people had amazingly good personal relationships, but I occasionally got to see otherwise. It brought the "high class rich people" down to a level where I no longer envied them. It made me realize that people really don't pay sticker price for cars. It made me realize that people wear false faces in public and are sometimes actually miserable in reality.

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