Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Identity Theft

Talking further on Identity Theft, I can relate one of my personal experience. Couple of years back, I used to chat with my net pals on Yahoo chat rooms. We used to hear about email getting hacked and how easy it was to hack any password. I always knew that passwords could be hacked but I didn't realize how easy it was for someone to go into our account. Yupe, until my email got hacked repeatedly by fellow chatter.

He had all the access to our emails and he was proud to showcase his skills openly in chatroom. Smart thing I did(lucky me) was that I always used dummy email id to chat. But what worried me was the claim by this guy that it is just easy to hack any password and that he got the how-to from google itself. I knew for sure that he wasn't a big time hacker. He said he meant no harm but I was already fuming with nothing else I could do. Complaints to Yahoo are not entertained. I guess they just couldn't be bothered.

Some friends said the emails with no username/subject/body was to blame and some said opening some attachments makes you prone to hacking. Whatever but google of this topic just made me realize how easy it was for others to get your information.

Just think for a moment, someone is able to access your email account which you have used in some website around the internet. How unsettling it would be?

Lessons I learned that day:
-- Never store personal information in free email accounts which do not use secure https connections.
-- Keep changing your password quite often.
-- Never make your email id public.
-- Use seperate account for personal correspondence and others for public use.
-- Delete all spam without opening.
And above all, Use upto date firewall and anti-virus protection.

Please protect your information, it is more private, it is more worthy and it is just yours, than you may realize.

23 comments:

whistlingwoods said...

I would lurvv to be Bush for a day!! or on second thoughts maybe Osama...

Nihit said...

Good info but a professional hacker would even break all this security thats what i feel...

Though well said.. Precaution is better than cure... :)

Good one..

Mumbai Guy said...

Nihit, I know a professional hacker can break into anything. But like I mentioned in the post, this guy was not a big time hacker. Actually I doubt he was any kind of hacker. He himself said he found the trick from google. And I literally saw many chatters enjoying this art of hacking. All we can try is to minimize the chances of getting hacked.

starry nights said...

Thanks for all this important info .prevention is the key. you read so many stories about identity theft.

Mumbai Guy said...

Starry, you are welcome. Lets not be in story :)

Ekta said...

hey wow,
Although Had heard about hacking..didnt realise it cld happen to any one of us simple by using public free email ids..this is scary!
Defi will be more careful..thx for posting this

radhika said...

technology and its consequences! its bound to be! one has to see how to use technology for one's best purpose..without getting controlled by the disadvantages !

dhruv said...

I agree that there is no such things as perfect security but Mumbai Guy, if you really want secure communications then take a look at PKI and its imlpementation GPG. Good for paranoid people :P. I'm quite relaxed about my security for I am a guy sitting behind 3 Linux firewalls :P

Bottom line, dont use Windoze.

Mumbai Guy said...

Ekta : This is indeed scary. Better to be wise.

Radhika : We can only try to reduce our exposure to bad elements.


Thanks Ekta and Radhika.

Mumbai Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mumbai Guy said...

Dhruv,
Windoze may not be as strong as Linux. But that applies to business entity. I am sure 90% of us use windows at home while surfing.

I am talking about websurfing and our use of email accounts throughout web. Like I gave example of how someone can get into our email accounts very easily.

Btw, you used the term windoze. Are you a database guy? This term sound familiar :)

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP said...

Jeeeezzzzzzz...This is so scary....I do have a lot of info I have stored in draft form n I need to change all of it...By bro always told me tht even he can get in n find out my password n things r not secure no more but I always thoght he was joking....Identitfy theft at its cray peak...Read the last article about the drivers license n all...It is saddening ht tthe email providers r showing a closed eye to all this....It is maybe enraging n wish I could do something about it. Thanks for this info man.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the info....its the things we all know and yet its good to review on occasion - we all need those reminders. Thanks again....

Mumbai Guy said...

Scribbz, I guess even email providers could do nothing wid these things. When they can break next generation Vista, this is nothing.

Meg, Yeah, we should remind ourselves again and again. Bad thing is that there are lots of us who would never think we could be victim ourselves.

Mayur said...

yep the points you mentioned are right but my little stint with the trojans and key loggers during my higher secondaries taught me hw easy it was for me to get what i want-providing i knw hw to approach the thing and a bit of common-sense ofcourse :)
the good side of me prevailed and i've never used it wrongly...but it can be manipulated in worse possible way if it falls into wrong hands...
need to aware ppl abt it....good step in tht direction!

Yashita said...

hey this is scary!!!!damn! is hackin soooo easy? can we do anything other than change our passwords regularly?

samuru999 said...

Thank you for all this valuable
info.... and thanks for visiting
my blog again.
Take care!

Mumbai Guy said...

Mayur, Right, Trojans and key loggers are much more dangerous. They say anti-virus and Firewall helps to a great extent to keep these out from our computers. And that is why I strongly advise to have firewall into all our machines. I am glad you did not stray away :-)

Yashita, Changing passwords and other stuff I mentioned, just helps to reduce our focus to bad elements. And whatever we can do, we should. But yes, it is easy for people who takes pride in doing all these stuff.

Samuru999, Thanks for visiting my blog again :)

Ajay said...

go true man
and d latest tool is d communities on orkut .
dey hav free ebooks on hacking .
a treat for hackers
a threat to others ...
sigh, but this cant be stopped can it be ?

Seema said...

Thanks for your visit to the Clouds ....
THis is some bit of useful info..security being stepped up heheeee

Keshi said...

tnxx for that valuable lit of tips.

There's so much of ID-theft going ard in Aus too...a woman was caught recently and jailed. She was using 100s of credit-cards of other ppl..what a disgusting thing to do.

Keshi.

Mumbai Guy said...

Ajay, this is hard to stop. Can just try to avoid.

Keshi, Seema, Thanks for stopping by.

Priyanka Mahanta said...

Good and useful info.