Monday, March 28, 2005

Real ID Theft Threats

When most people think of computer security issues, they think of viruses, worms, firewalls, etc. In other words, all sorts of technical stuff that they don't understand. However, a survey at the Infosecurity Europe trade shows, once again, that biggest threat to computer security remains the users themselves. 200 people were offered a chance to win free theater tickets for answering a 3 minute survey regarding theater-going attitudes. The results:
  • 100% provided their names upon request.
  • 94% provided pet's names (common passwords) and their mother's maiden name (common second form of authentication) when told actors frequently use both to create stage names.
  • 98% gave their address in order to receive a winning voucher.
  • 96% divulged the name of their first school. Combined with mother's maiden name, the two are key pieces of information used by banks for verification.
  • 92% provided their date of birth and the same number supplied their home phone number.
So, most people are willing to hand out information that could be used for identity theft simply for the chance to win something free. Frightening...


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