In a world obsessed with security are we so crap at our own? I mean apart from the crass self-indulgence of Twitter and/or Facebook, do people really understand that when they post photos of themselves away on holiday every burglar in town says "Thank you, enjoy your break…while I break in?" Sat Nav's. Wonderful things. However when you register your details for ‘home’, maybe it’s not such a good idea to punch in your actual address? If your car gets stolen (especially if it’s something sleek, shiny and expensive) you have given the thief the added bonus of knowing where you live, usually with an electronic garage door opener in the glovebox. So maybe use a nasty neighbour's address close by you instead? Simple security. It’s ironic we are so cavalier on our own but in a crowd will all meekly take off our shoes at airports. At airport security we allow ourselves the indignity of being kneaded like dough despite the infinitesimally small chance of sharing a plane with someone sadly wanting to blow us through the doors of the next world! We hunch up at ATM’s furtively checking over our shoulder for anyone suspicious, yet gladly hand out the same details over the internet to just about anyone. In addition we guard our personal bank account numbers and codes like a poker player hiding his straight flush. However if we get a phone call from someone saying he is from the bank and need to change our security code due to a breach, we never question it. "Before we can proceed with the new code for our security process please first can you give me your current one." We spout down the phone every conceivable security detail known to man….saying thank you whilst doing it! The thank you is reciprocated by the thief you have just given your details to.

...and another thing

The biggest threat to security is complacency. Your own to start with, quickly followed by people who are meant to protect us. A group of bankers attending a convention about security in Las Vegas were led by one speaker to an ATM. He punched in a few numbers and everyone stood aghast as the machine spat out its entire content.

The London Fraud Office recently held a seminar to which they invited both tellers and executives from the major currency exchange businesses working at banks or booths at airports etc. A large pile of notes was placed in front of each participant. An Officer then invited each attendee to split the notes into one pile for fake, another for genuine and to take as long as they liked. After much rustling and sniffing of paper as well as the notes being held up to the light to check watermarks, etc., the last person finished after two hours. As the Officer looked at the two sets of piles in front of each person he said. “Only need one pile. They are all fake.”

...and another thing

Is there anyone left alive who is going to give money to a Nigerian with locked funds, the FBI agent who has uncovered a secret account in your name or anyone starting an email with “Dear Friend” or “Congratulations”? As P.T. Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute and with the internet expanding at gazillions a day, there must still be a few gullible fools out there. I currently have 1,028 such emails in my junk mail that I emptied only ten weeks ago! Yet the poor fools who seem to fall for these cons will be the very same people who check their receipts to the penny and will berate a shop assistant if they short change them!

...and another thing

So maybe just think. When somebody asks you to post a picture with your details, address, date of birth and a signature as a writing example to see if they can find a match with somebody else in some global phantom twin search… just think a moment. Most of these people are providing a fun service but there just might be an unscrupulous group out there who want your photo signature and details for identity theft and the only thing you lookeelikee…. is a chump!

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  1. Curly says:

    Got the message but just too late again- following last week’s insights into the ” bra’s for dogs” industry – handed over all my savings and now realise it was all a scam – apparently these were never needed as the whole industry had gone “tips up” years ago. You cautionary words of wisdom can even be hijacked by these stealthy scammers – and my Mumbai mate is not for real either.!!!!

  2. bette anne says:

    Ai Yi Yi… true it hurts.

  3. Nina says:

    Let’s not forget the lovely Microsoft expert with the Indian accent who given full access to our computer to sort out the massive security problem we didn’t know we had!!!!!

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