New Technology Security Threats to Personal Information
As social networking becomes more pervasive there now are new threats to personal and bio-metric data
As new technologies are implemented via social networking, there now are more threats to your personal information. Included are:
- Fingerprints can be stolen from electronic photos
Researchers have found that fingerprints could be stolen from photos of fingers, and the prints could then be re-created and used to bypass biometric security systems.
- Political trolls 'win arguments' by publishing personal data
The latest trend in online arguments is doxing, which is the act of exposing someone's personal information online.
- Genealogy sites have posted your personal information
Personal information sites, including genealogy and "people search" sites, have been around for years. The business model has long been to tease people with the kinds of information the sites could provide, and then require interested parties to pay to get the full set of data.
- Mobile apps send personal data back to a remote server
A selfie-editing iPhone app called Meitu transforms your face into a surreal cartoon image that whitens, brightens, enlarges the eyes and adds visual effects. The app exploded in popularity because the effects are so unusual and over the top. It turns your face into a dreamy cartoon character. But overnight, it emerged that the app sends all kinds of information back to China, including your location, details about your mobile carrier and IP address, and the IMEI numbers of Android users.
- Security apps can threaten your security
One of the best ways to protect one's privacy online is to use a VPN, or virtual private network. VPNs theoretically let you use the public internet as if you were on a private network. They let you hide and encrypt your online activity, even from your own ISP. And they enable you to spoof your location, so you can say you're going online in another city or country.
However, a recent study found that an alarmingly high number of VPN services offered through Android apps violate your privacy, rather than protect it.
Steps to take:
- Sign up for a site that will alert you when your personal information shows up online as the result of a hack. Often hackers crack a site, download all the user data, then post it or sell it on the dark web.
- Think of all the sites you signed up for but later abandoned. Go back and actively delete your account.
- Whenever a site wants personal data, give fake information. If your information gets hacked, doxed or exposed, your real information won't be used.
- Search through your photos looking for images of hands and fingers and make sure no usable fingerprints exist.
- Do not get into heated arguments with trolls, haters or political extremists online.
- Go to genealogy sites and remove all personal information.