I have some across a few examples of why I have titled this blog what I did. As being a person that continues to think about my personal security I have noticed that people seem to forget about the basic things.
Credit card information
Credit card information seems to be one of the things that I have heard a lot of stories about and how people don’t think what they are doing is wrong. Here are a couple of examples of what I have heard lately.
I had a problem with a hotel business centre so I emailed them and asked for a refund of the fee that they charged for me using the business centre. When I emailed them I provided my credit card information so that they didn’t have to contact me for it. This is a good example of how credit card information can be stolen if it gets into the wrong hands.
Yesterday I was in a hurry to get to work so I figured I would place the order over my cell phone while I was traveling to work. I didn’t want to try and waste the time at home and I knew that once I got to work I would forget so I did it while on transit to work. So what this person actually did was provided their credit card number, expiry date, three digit security code, name and address while on transit over their cell phone. Basically this person provided a vehicle full of passengers a lot of information that could be used for identity theft. If you are afraid you will forget to do this task when you are in a better place to do it sent yourself a reminder so that you can do it lately and don’t do it in transit or out in public.
These are some situations that I have seen.
A computer is left unattended on a table in a food court or in a fast food restaurant while a person goes and gets some food. The person’s back is to the computer so they would never know if someone walked off it it while they were getting their food. People don’t think of how quickly a computer can go missing when your back is turned. If you are going to leave a computer unattended for any reason out in public you should be ensuring it is secured with some sort of security cable to at least slow the person down and draw attention. Invest in a security cable so that you can secure your computer to the table or even a chair so that it looks extremely odd if someone is trying to steal it.
Entering passwords on mobile devices in clear view of others and then leave the device and walk away. This is another situation where the person isn’t thinking that someone could send some damaging emails just by getting into this person’s mobile device. This actually did happen when I was at an IT event and an employee of the company doing the presentation did this at the table we were sitting at. Not long after seeing this the presenter mentioned how they ensure security policies within the company. Gee, I am thinking that the person at our table must have missed that presentation for employees.
Wallets and other personal items
A few very common issues I see.
A women has a purse on transit and forgets that with the new trend of no zippers to close the top of the purse the wallets and mobile devices are in easy reach of someone else. A purse that is open on transit is one way to lose a lot of your identification and not know it until you actually need to use your wallet or other item that was removed. This also applies when you leave a purse open out in public and have it in a position where others can see it but you can’t. Think about the purse that you purchase and will be safe when you are atually carrying your personal items in it. It might be the lastest fashion but is it going to be something that is actually going to ensure others to steal your personal items.
Leaving wallets and other personal items on a food court table and gets and orders food or to grab napkins or the like. A simple thing to be quickly removed from a table by someone. Don’t leave wallets or mobile devices on tables when you walk away if there is no one else to look after them.
Individuals carrying their credit card in a holder on the back of their mobile device or even in the case with their mobile device. People seem to forget that when you are holder your device and using it you are showing others what you are carrying with your device. Someone may not actually get a hold of the credit card but even all the devices with cameras on them it would be extremely easy to just take a picture of the information. If you are going to carry this information with your mobile device at least make sure you turn the card around so people can only see the back of the card and ensure the security number isn’t visible.
Everyone has seen this
People throwing credit card statements and other statements into the garage without destroying the vital information on them. I have even seen people sit in fast food restaurants and go through their billings and then throw the statements in the fast food restaurant garbage or sort of throw them in the garbage. The paper is left sticking out of the garbage so again easy for someone else to pick up. It is always amazing to see how many people will do this and then wonder why their identity was stolen. If you are going to be throwing out your credit card or bank statements it is best to do it at home and it is best to shred it so that no one can see the information.
Recycling the statements and putting them in the recycle bin at home and then put the bin out for pick up. This is just like throwing them out in a public garbage. You are leaving the personal information available for someone else to steal.
So yes, common sense really doesn’t seem to be so common any more. People are doing things so quickly now that they are not thinking of the outcome of their actions. Wallets, computers and mobile devices are stolen almost daily if not daily from food courts and fast food restaurants because they have been left unattended. Personal information is found on public streets because of how they were thrown out.
Protecting your personal property really isn’t so difficult but it does take a couple of minutes to think about what you are doing and what the possible outcomes could be.